I was sitting the other day, waiting for two of the kids to get done with music lessons. In the distance I could see a van entering into a driveway. Someone was coming home from a day at work. I noticed that the house seemed shut up, dark and when he approached the door, he fidgeted for his key to unlock the door. I thought of how different it is for my husband when he comes home from a day at work.
The house is never shut up. The window blinds usually have failed to get pulled down, even though darkness has already set in the night sky. The lights are on - usually throughout the house as various rooms are used for the after school activities. I can also assure you, that my husband does not have to rummage through his pocket to find the key to the house. Usually there is one or more kids standing in the doorway, holding the door open, eager to greet him with their questions. ("What are we going to do tonight?" "Did you have a good day at work?" "Did you bring anything home for me?")
I think about the times I come home. Sometimes I have been out for a grocery run, or just taking some time to be out by myself. Coming home is never uneventful. With five kids in the house, there is always some element of organized chaos going on. I never get in through the door without some sort of question being launched my way. Normally, it is more than one question by more than one child. I will normally have to step over a set of shoes in order to get through the entry way safely.
Our kids have never been the kind that sit on the sidelines and watch life happen. They tend to be right in the middle of whatever is going on. Sometimes, they even are the ones that are making things happen - that can be good and that can be bad! If Rob and I come home from a date and decide to sit out in the car for a few minutes to finish talking, I can guarantee you that there will be children looking out the window, waving at us and watching us as we talk. (If we stay out too long in the car, the cell phone is bound to ring - the kids calling to ask us what we are doing out in the car.) Never a dull moment.
So, as I sat and watched the man go into the house, the lights within being turned on. I thought about the differences. While, coming home to our house requires some sort of mental preparation gearing up for what will meet you on the other side of the door, coming home to quiet seems far worse to me. Someday, they will all be grown and gone. We will come home, the house will be quiet, the lights off, the heat turned down. The prospect of having three teenagers this summer, makes me realize that 'someday' is closer down the road than I wish it were.
So, while coming home to our house is not for the faint of heart, I am going to enjoy having the chaos. Someday I will have my quiet, today I have energy and life staring me in the face. Children truly make your life more interesting; but when I walk past their rooms at night and seem them sleeping snugly under their covers I know that I have been blessed by God.