2:30 pm... It's calm. Too calm. Eerily calm. The house is clean, everybody is happy and I feel relaxed. I imagine Charlie and Isaac coming home from school. I'll hug them, ask them about their day and they will find something quiet but fun to do while I do the daily crossword puzzle....
I'm awake! I'm awake! My two oldest children barrel through the door from school. I manage a hug and ask them about their day. They reply, "Good, Mark's coming over to play!". I normally have all the kids play outside but it just so happens that it is freezing out there and who am I to deny my kids their play time. I think, "Okay, one extra child will be fine".
Before Mark gets here, Andy rings the doorbell and asks if the kids can play. He's brought along a video game. I agree and tell the boys that they can have one friend in to play since it's so cold outside.
Enter Tony and his little brother, Garrett. They want to know if they can come in. I explain the rule that only one person can come in to play at a time. Tony looks at me with sad eyes and asks if it's okay if he just sits and watches Andy play his video game. I agree.
After a short time, playing a video game is no longer fun. I was calmly trying to do my crossword puzzle when a game of hide and seek breaks out.
The doorbell rings. It's Mark, the original person who was coming over. I let him in to enjoy the fun. I now have seven boys and a 2 year old girl in my house. They all get Nerf guns out. I begin to prepare dinner. The noise level grows. I round up all the kids and tell them that if it gets too crazy, everyone will have to go outside. I might as well have said that they couldn't breathe because boys are made to be loud and crazy.
I think to myself that it's great that they are all having fun and what a blessing it is for my kids to have a group of friends. I can deal with a little bit of crazy, right? If I couldn't, I surely got into the wrong business. Squeals and happiness and excitement fill my house.
Then, a different sound. A yell, followed by a cry. I run in and ask what happened. Charlie shot Issac in the eye with a Nerf gun. I resist the urge to utter the dreaded phrase that is the title of this blog.
Party's over. It's time for everyone to go home. Dinner is ready. I'm feeling a little less calm. My house is a little more messy. But my children are smiling, even Isaac who got shot in the eye. I think it came out even.