People often think that with all these kids it must be hard to keep up with them all. There's this attitude that we have so many we wouldn't notice if one was gone. But we feel very differently. If one child is gone we all feel like there's a big hole and something is missing.
We've really struggled with Stephen's absence. We know this is right and good and he should grow up and move on. But we still miss him. I still have to remind myself every so often that I only need to count to 8 now, not 9. It doesn't help that Mitchell turned 16 yesterday and will be getting a driver's license this week. I know that means that being away from home a lot is just right around the corner.
And now Roger is out of town and that leaves an even bigger void. Thankfully this is much more temporary.
Last night we swapped children with some old friends. They had Faith for the night and most of today. Meanwhile, we have two of their girls. So numberwise, I am back up to nine. But it isn't the same. Several of the kids have commented on how weird it feels. I keep having to really think through who is here and who isn't and it seems, even though there are nine kids in the house, like there aren't enough. It just feels like the house is so empty!
Sam, age 3, said it well this morning when he woke up. "Mom, I need Daddy and Stephen and Faith to all come home right now!"