I'm already working on whistle calls for them all.
Every time I think of life after June 1st, I hear Maria from The Sound of Music saying that line, completely incredulous at the thought of that many kids. Seven children?! Yes, seven children.
O.K., so for all intents and purposes, there will only be six children. The seventh is about to graduate from high school, and while I hope she visits and feels like our house is her second home, she won't be living with us.
But still. That's six children. And two moms. And two cats. And a part time hamster.
We're like a modern day Brady Bunch, just with better hair, more diversity, 100%
less sexual tension between Greg and Marsha, and no live in maid. Someone call TLC--I see the makings of a new reality show here!
It's going to be a huge adjustment for us all.
These are kids who have been raised in different households with different rules, and now we have the very daunting task of blending them into one. And as alike as Marianne and myself are in our thinking, there are things we do very differently.
Like, paper towels for example. I use the far superior Scott. And I keep them conveniently on a counter-top holder. Marianne uses Bounty. And insists they be kept on a wall mounted holder.
While I was visiting her last month, I had the audacity to put Scott paper towels on her (wall mounted) holder. She and her kids tolerated it for approximately eleven minutes before they were replaced with Bounty (The Lintier, Pricier Picker-Upper). And now I will forever be known as the evil step mother with bad taste in paper towels. And napkins, apparently.
But thank goodness we all like to wipe our butts with Charmin. That could have been a relationship ender.
It's going to be a big change for all of us. Some of those changes are going to be really good, some will be really hard. But I'm confident we'll make it work. Our priorities are making sure the kids know that all the adults in their life love them, making sure none of them feel like mere visitors in either of their homes, and helping them stay connected with the parent they're not with at the time. I feel like if we can accomplish those things, we'll be doing alright. I hope.
Some of you have asked about what my specific plans are for the future.
At the end of May I'll load up a moving truck with everything I own, sedate the cats (and maybe the kids), and drive to Maryland. Marianne and I signed a lease on a house just north of Washington D.C., which we will all (six kids, two moms, two cats and part time hamster) move into on June first. My kids will have about a week to settle into the house they'll share with me, and then they'll spend the rest of the Summer with Will, getting settled into the house they'll share with him in Georgia.
And that's as far as my plans go. I'll be looking for a job, so hopefully that will be part of the plan, too.
Beyond that, I think the plan is to be happy.
Really, really happy.