Well guys, they're all home. For the first time since Kid2 stormed out Christmas Day 2008, all of my kids (except the oldest) are sleeping under the same roof tonight. Kid4 got here Sunday night, although he still has some stuff to move out of his rental before he's officially done. But he's back home. One of his two roommates, J, came with him. J's a nice kid. He puts just the right kind of peer pressure on Kid4 to remind him that he's supposed to be a grown up (and not to whine because he has to do the dishes.) lol. J is loving the idea of living on a farm, and he's not afraid to work, that's for sure. We won't have J for long (his fiance is in under-graduate school a couple hours away) but I think he'll be a really good addition to farm life while he's here. Kid2 got here tonight. She still has a few more things to move, too, but for the most part, she and the kids are here. What once was my living room has now become a temporary nursery/bedroom until we finish construction on the garage-turned-apartment. My bookshelves and my favorite recliner are pushed this way and that to make room for pack & plays, toddler cots, and mounds of kiddie accoutrements. So much for coffee in front of the fireplace early in the mornings. At least for a while, anyway. Kid3 was obviously anxious today. His world is changing and while he knew it was coming, and we've spent weeks preparing, it's still change. It's still a HUGE challenge to have the person who was once his biggest trigger (Kid2) come back under his nose again. I knew he'd probably have a difficult time adjusting, but we've been crossing our fingers that years of progress and maturity would win out. So far, other than just being a little irritable and snippy, he seems to be doing okay. (He went to be early as the noise level was a little too much for him and he didn't want to let it get to him - win #1!) I will say, it was wonderful to see my granddaughter hop out of the car and come running to me yelling "Gramma! Gramma! I here! I love you!" That has got to have been the absolute best moment in a long, long time. She's such a sweet little girl, although boy does she ever remind me of her mother! (I hereby reserve the right to secretly giggle a little bit if she gives her mother just a quarter of the gray hairs her mother gave me...I've paid my dues, I'm allowed to point and laugh when no one is looking. *evil grins*) It's strange...I'm excited to have everyone home. I'm excited to think of our family working the farm together. I'm happy to listen to my kids sharing everything they don't know about each other from the last 6 years - those little anecdotal stories, funny experiences, the things they've learned. It's a wonderful, heart-warming feeling. But... I would be insane if I didn't worry just a little. I'd be a liar if I tried to say that I have no fears about the future. The kids have all come so far these last some years. Each of them has grown up, become an adult, learned what GrownUpLand is like. But... Living back under Mom's roof? Living with your siblings again? Having small children in the house again? I'd be a fool to think that's not a really, really BIG test of how far everyone has come. Even at my age, I don't know that you could put my parents, my sister and her family, and me under the same roof without old arguments and old issues coming up. And since we've all grown accustomed to having our own space, our own lives, our own ways of doing things, coming together under one roof would NOT be an easy task. Someone's toes would get stepped on. Someone's nose would get bent out of joint. I can't imagine that it will be any different for my kids. In fact, I wonder if their challenges and our history might not make it even harder a task to master. I truly hope I'm worrying over nothing. I truly hope this all works out to be as wonderful as I hope it will be. The kids are all so far from who they were six years ago. They all WANT to be here. They all WANT the kind of family farm life I've envisioned. Let's just hope they want it enough to do the work required for us to make it all workable. We only have to live under the same roof for a few months. Let's cross our fingers that we survive those few months with our sanity intact. That's the plan we've all been talking about - if we can manage to live under the same roof for 3-4 months and not have major issues, then working the farm together (with separate houses/personal time & space away from each other at the end of every day) should be a doable thing. Think good thoughts, guys. I already realize, after just one evening, that I'm going to need an upgrade to a really, really BIG bottle of Motrin. I didn't notice how quiet the house had become with just me and Kid3 here. Just the normal noise and commotion of having seven people in one house gave me a headache tonight. It's going to take some adjusting...a lot of quiet walks through the fields...and probably a Pez dispenser for my Motrin...to get used to this much activity again. Yeah. Please, think good thoughts. Tomorrow is our first full day and we have LOTS of stuff to get done. We're already two weeks behind on spring plantings, thanks to my health issues. I have no choice but to throw us all under the bus and see if we're all still standing at the end of the day tomorrow. No time for easing into anything...we should already have peas and radishes popping up out of the ground and we don't even have fields turned over yet. Fingers crossed! In the meantime, I can't wait to see how breakfast goes in the morning. And I can't wait to wake up to grandbabies!!!