Maybe I'm not cut out to have a million children. Because all the yelling and the screaming and the fighting and the stress in a tiny apartment makes me crazy. I know I have more patience with my two, because they are mine, I'm sort of biologically prone to not wanting to kill them, but having all four tearing around here, yelling louder and louder each time they pass by me... in an itty bitty apartment with neighbors under us - I'm losing my mind. I've hollered at them effectively enough that they are all afraid to speak in anything louder than conversational tone - but this never lasts more than five or ten minutes... soon I'll have to scream at them again.
Not really the best lead in for what's supposed to be the most peaceful time of my week.
I'm trying to really embrace Shabbos - to make a big dinner, to spend my time relaxing and really enjoying my time with my husband, with my kids, not to stress out over money (huge stress around that these days), but to be grateful for what I have. My beautiful girl, she's so smart and so big, kindergarten has already started to change her. She's learning new songs, and new attitudes and she's becoming more confident and aware of who she is. My gorgeous baby, who's not a baby any more... he's growing into this little boy and I'm so lucky to be able to watch it every day, to be right there for all of it. And Marc - God, what I would have given to know that he was out there ten years ago - to have found someone so smart, so kind, so loving and to be able to just relax into what he and I are together - to know that he loves me as much as I love him, to trust that he's going to love me this much ten years from now... and my two step daughters - the blessings I got without asking for them... it's more complicated there, and I struggle sometimes with it. There are so many limits on what I can feel for them, it feels like. I'm very aware not stepping on Lisa's toes, of not being their mother - but they're mine too. And Lilli is growing up so fast, and I feel like as she gets older, she may want to have someone in her life who isn't her mother and isn't her father - I can be the one she turns to when she hates them :-). Sarah is so very smart, and so eager to learn and read and shine in her own right - and I think I provide that role for her as well - I see myself in her and in Lilli - and am looking forward to watching the women they become.
I'm calm now... The four kids are set up on the couch, playing some sort of intricate game - and really, that, in and of itself, is pretty cool. That four kids, ages spanning from two to nine, can all be together and involved and happy is lovely. My chicken is cooking, my veggies are ready to be microwaved, I've got a little more to do to get ready, but at least I'm in the right frame of mind now ;-)