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Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Golden Age

Last week we had Monday off to celebrate Labor Day.  Since the weather is still warm and we had spent the previous Friday holiday at the pool, we took the children down to Puli Sangin.  Takijistan has very few nice places to go and relax with the children (so far the total is one), so we decided not to ruin our holiday by trying something new and instead went back to something that worked, and worked well.

We've spent a lot of time with family in friends over the past few months and Monday was the first time in quite a while we had spent time with just our own family.  I have tried these sorts of trips before, day trips that involve complicated situations like lunch in a public setting and children around other people for extended periods of time, and they've never worked very well.  Usually by the end one of us wants to kill the children and the other wants to kill both their spouse and the children and we wonder why we bothered spending money to be irritated in public when we can just be irritated for free at home.  After awhile I forget that things like this are stressful and then I try them again only to remember exactly why we don't do things that other people with a reasonable number of children do on a frequent basis.  Having six children can sometimes be limiting.

But Monday was different.  Monday was the fulfillment of a years' long dream where we would have a day that could fit right into a Hallmark channel movie without editing out all the bad parts.  It was the kind of day that I thought only other people with reasonable children could have.

All of the children played nicely together.  Brandon and I swam with them, taking ten minute dips in the freezing pool.  I sat on a deck chair with William on my lap, enjoying the warm sunshine while watching Sophia and Kathleen slide down the waterslide.  Eleanor and Brandon picked fresh figs for everyone to eat (no joke).  We had a lunch where everyone had food and only one glass (with water) was spilled.  Nobody cried. Or argued.  Or whined.  William took two naps.  

Like I said, it was magical.

Our family is entering the golden age of family life.  The logistics of running everything are getting easier because I have reliable helpers.  We have children old enough that spending time together isn't just babysitting, it's doing stuff that's actually fun for Brandon and me too.  And not only do we have older children, but we have little ones too, ones that everyone can enjoy adoring and doting on.  I feel sometimes, when all is going well and we're playing a game together or hiking or singing, that we could be on one of those family ads the Church runs.  

We are in this perfect slice of time where the oldest are still young enough to want to spend time with their family (and are still at home) and the youngest don't swamp the boat of family life.  I never thought I would finally make it to this part of parenting, the part where we finally get the payoff for all of the hard work.  In fact, I didn't think it really existed.  Or if it did, it existed for people that weren't me.

I'm already planning on making good use of this time, finally taking advantage of our international lifestyle to do something other than enjoy not cleaning all of our toilets.  I've been scheming to start visiting Europe during our summer treks, laying down a good PR campaign to get Brandon on board. And I was shocked when recently words, "That sounds like it would be fun," came out of Brandon's mouth.

I think the best part of this golden age is that we're never going to revert back to the dark age of small children all day every day.  The children will just continue to be more helpful and more enjoyable and more able to behave themselves in public.  We can trust them to pack suitcases.  They can eat their own food.  Most of them don't have temper tantrums.  They can use the bathroom on an airplane and even take their younger siblings.  Magical.

And now if you'll excuse me, I have some research on sightseeing in London to do.

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