2 part-time teenagers
5 under 5
1 living room
1100 thoroughly lived in square feet
there are definitely times when i dream of a larger house. our table for 8 (or 10 when needed) barely fits in the dining area of our kitchen. not including the portable dishwasher or the flat stove top, I honestly have about 10 feet of counter space. the microwave, toaster and sink occupy more than half of that space. my nightstand is a file cabinet housing the yet-to-be-organized paperwork that comes with adoption. my dresser is in the living room. the bed my husband built as his wedding gift to me is in our storage shed.
but, today…today I love our small house.
all five little ones played together in their room today. all day long, with the exception of a few brief moments. Daddy and Duncan took turns supervising for most of the day. I took an evening shift. there were some occasional sibling squabbles, and at least one new bruise. but overall, a successful day of playing together. i spent most of the day doing laundry, pausing to fix meals, clean up after meals and remind children to go to the potty.
it wasn’t until after dinner this evening that i spent some time in the kids’ room. all five little ones share a bedroom. we have two sets of bunkbeds and a toddler bed. two chests of drawers contain clothes, one is filled with diapers and wipes. toys are stored in bins under the bed and in the top of the closet for the most part. it gets cluttered, but not terribly messy. they have room to play and room to sleep.
and so this evening, as I was laying in the bottom bunk with my Kindle, my kids played quietly occasionally asking for help with a toy and often piling on top of me to play. I realized that our situation is unusual and wonderful. My “too small” house is home to five siblings previously separated by many miles. They spent the day playing together, under the loving and watchful eye of their parents and big brother. Not in a giant house with separate bedrooms and a playroom. Not upstairs while their mom cooked dinner. Not monitored by an electronic device. Even with all of their new Christmas toys, their most chosen form of entertainment: putting on one another shoes and walking around their room. Or putting their baby dolls to bed. Or pretending to be in trouble and making each other apologize to Daddy. Simply playing together (and creating some occasional messes leading to unplanned bathtime). Together.
My children are home. And at this very moment, this is the perfect house for us all.