Summer. Oh, crap.
This last week was so busy with grads and awards assemblies and x-rays (I sprained my ankle) and spring cleaning (I missed spring cleaning because we had no spring this year), the end of school snuck right up on me. I was like one of those silent film heroines tied to the tracks--only I'm stuck untying myself because ain't no one coming to my rescue--and I know the train is barreling towards me but I'm too busy clawing at the ropes to even look.
And then SPLAT!
Summer. The season where I transform from a part-time waitress with three kids in school to a part-time waitress with 5 1/2 kids at home. My stepsons are 17 and 21, so they don't precisely count as kids--but they aren't adults, either, not by a long shot. They have to be reminded to pick up after themselves, to make sure their laundry makes it into the utility room, to pitch in around the house. It helps that the oldest brings his girlfriend. She offered to help me in the kitchen one day two summers ago and I almost cried.
Our house is small. Three bedrooms--my oldest (14) shares a room with my youngest (6). The stepkids sleep in the family room when they visit. Normally, the 17-year-old would already be here (his mom likes to send him ten minutes after school lets out in the summer), but he put his foot down this year and won't arrive until the 9th. 21 and his girlfriend arrive on the 19th or so.
But between the one and the other, I will be swamped. Overwhelmed. Invaded. Besieged.
Yes, my family--two sisters, the bil, gram and gramp, and six nieces and nephews--in their infinite and appalling wisdom, have decided to turn a cousin's wedding on the mainland into the perfect excuse to visit little Kirsten on the island. They will begin arriving on the 12th. They will cease arriving sometime on the 14th. They plan to stay for many days. And although they will be sleeping and recreating some at a campsite/resort where I've booked them cottages on the ocean, I'm sure they will spend plenty of time in my teeny tiny shoebox of a house.
I am of two minds on this. On the one hand, I am squeeing and peeing my pants for the joy of having everyone together. Just imagine the barbeques, the Sunday dinner sentimentality, the pitter patter of many, many, many little feet! We've recently made improvements on our house that make our nice backyard more accessible and there's a park right across the street. There are all kinds of awesome things to do and see on the north island in the summer, and I'm happy to show my family all of them.
On the other hand...I'm terrified. Just feeding everyone is going to be a major production. Not to mention the fact that among my relatives are a few...volatile personalities. These personalities have been known to clash when forced to coexist for any length of time. And all those kids--Oh my god.
So pray for me. And for now, I'll repeat that mantra: "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger. And provides fodder for yet another book..."