This week has been one of family and friends and, although it has felt at times like I've been sucked into a whirlpool and spat out at the other end, I am left with an overwhelming feeling of fullness and love. There has been the chaos of having two times the normal number of bodies in our house, cooking and cleaning and settling squabbles between children who don't normally play together. The dog accepted the added energy with a "join 'em" attitude and put his two cents in wherever he could. One of the cats decided he'd make himself a nice warm nest behind the dryer until the storm blew through, and the other one simply stayed on my bed.
We had the excitement of the school carnival and the fun of watching the kids run around with faces painted and temporary tattoos throwing water balloons and lining up for their turn in the bouncy castle. We visited the tourist attractions and collapsed in the evenings on the back porch with our drinks to catch up as much as we could before everyone went away for another year or two.
This morning began with dance recitals and will end with a choir concert. Friends and family were more than eager to attend, taking time out of their lives to acknowledge the work our girls have done this last school year and applauding them enthusiastically.
Walking our very best friends out to their car and watching them drive away I was filled with a sense of how lucky I really am. I was blessed with the opportunity to spend my week with people I don't often get to see. We were able to laugh and play together, cook and eat together, and watch our children bond in a way they won't soon forget. I am exhausted and the kids are terrifically overstimulated, but I am satisfied in the knowledge that we are loved. That we opened our home and our hearts to others and had it returned tenfold is incredibly gratifying.
Tomorrow will be just the four of us. We will spend the day honoring the girls' father for all that he does - playing together and strengthening our bond as a family, knowing that this is what is most important. I am overflowing with thanks that we are so fortunate to be surrounded by people we have this kind of connection with. I will rest with a happy heart.