No, this is not a birthday party. Nor do I run a daycare (which a police officer once asked me when he saw three kids of varying shades of skin playing in the yard with my blondies). This is just the sort of thing I do to myself on a regular basis: a pool party with six kids under the age of five. Or wait – is that one six already? I think so. Six under the age of SIX, then. But still.
Ever since I was a kid I wanted a big family. Maybe as a practically-only child I fantasized about large families, but even as an adult married woman, I still thought I would birth a baseball team of boys. Then I actually HAD kids, and then I had postpartum depression, and now I nearly have the youngest out of diapers.
I can’t imagine doing that all over again.
Yet, I find myself with a house full of kids – or at least one extra – at least twice a week, sometimes more often. I’ve always imagined being the house on my block where all my kids’ friends come to play, my refrigerator and pantry filled with snacks to share, plenty of games on the Wii and other interesting things to make it so my kids and their friends like to be here.
Maybe six kids under six for dinner and a pool party on a record-breaking hot day is practice for ten teenagers who choose to come here after school rather than the mall? I admit I’m a romantic. My friends with teenagers can tell me how it really is, but I guess I’m learning I like a little bit of high level chaos as long as they all go home at some point and let me recuperate before the next wave of chaos.
But I get to keep these two forever. Which is nice, because they’re both just a little bit crazy like me.