|driveway reunion today|
The gang that belongs here is all together again and Momma is sighing a big sigh of relief.
Lydie makes everything competitive so no shock she was the first to rush Hope and the first to hug Noah. She was basically in the driveway in a track start position waiting for the car to pull in with her beloved older siblings. Phoebe didn't stand a chance. It helps that Phoebe doesn't really give a damn. She has all the eye-rolls for Lydia and being competitive about first hugs.
Isaac went to the airport with us, permagrin securely affixed and shining out at the world brightly.
There was not room for everyone to go to the airport. Isaac asked to go first and therefore he got the spot, which is apparently "no fair".
Big Families cannot be fair.
That is not a thing.
(It doesn't mean nobody ever complains about it, though.)
I dare someone with several children to try and be totally fair. Just try and try and try and die trying, you fool.
Perhaps it is actually a gift to our kids, seeing as life itself is never going to be fair either.
Big families are training for life.
Oh, you didn't get to have ice-cream because kid number 6 ate the last scoop without regard for you. So? You're welcome. This is your free training for life. Go in peace and unfairness. Bye.
To individually list the numerous unfairnesses of life in a large family would take days and days.
Troy grew up in a family with just two children; I did too. If I got a new shirt, my sister got a new shirt the next time. If I wanted a birthday party with friends, I had one. Same for her. The economics of keeping things fair are far more feasible with two children.
I can promise you, the birthday celebrations for each kid are all quite different and vary year to year. I have published the written guarantee of unfairness on the wall in the kitchen that it will remain so until death or college takes them out of this home.
When Troy was growing up if he declared to his father that something was not fair, his Dad would say, "Fair is in August" - a very smart ass way to say "there is nothing fair and there won't be so deal with it, kid" - and it was a funny way to say it because also the literal Minnesota State Fair happens in August each year.
This tradition has been passed along. Our kids have heard the phrase "Fair is in August" twelve billion times over the years too.
While we were in the USA a few weeks ago Phoebe had a lightbulb moment and said, "HEY HEY HEY -- We are in Minnesota and "Fair's in August" WOOT." Sadly, for Phoebe anyway, we left the state of MN before fair happened. Another life lesson, delivered with a little shove.
The way it works in our family is this: Mostly things will be unfair. If you wake up in the morning and put your feet on the floor, you can count on at least that one thing.
The jockeying for food and beverage is a sport in this home. I find treats and beverages hidden in bizarre places. I watch kids act in gluttonous ways in order to get their share of something good that has come into the home without any guarantee of being replenished. A box of Captain Crunch or Poptarts will disappear so quickly, you'll question if they ever even existed.
If someone whines, "Aaawww, I didn't get any of that _______ (ice cream, pop, candy, cookies, cereal) before it was gone! No fair!" That person can count on a choir of voices sing-songily saying, "Fair is in August" and maybe even, "Better luck next time."
Two of the kids got to have two extra weeks in the USA this summer. Three of the kids came home to Haiti with Mom and Dad. Not fair.
Lydia wears the most hand-me-downs, Hope is short and doesn't have hand-me downs and almost always get new things. Not fair.
Isaac gets to share clothes with Troy. Nobody else does. Not fair.
Noah gets more lunch dates with Dad because he has braces on his teeth and has to go to the orthodontist. Not fair.
Phoebe and Lydia got to go to Graham's first birthday. Not the other aunts and uncles. Not fair.
Isaac and Noah have been to Chuy's restaurant many times. They got to go alone to Paige's house last summer. Hope claims she has not had Chuy's Tex-Mex very much. Not fair.
Hope got to go to NYC last December. Just Hope. Not fair.
While we were in MN every single kid went to an amusement park for one day to ride the rides. For a brief moment life was fair and there was peace in the hearts of man.
But wouldn't you know it, mid day we found a ride Lydia was too short to go on and everything got back to normal.
Fair is in August.