As I mentioned in the comments, we had planned to go camping as a family last weekend but decided to stay home. The dear friends who had first extended the invitation to go camping, extended a further and most generous invitation to take our four eldest children camping sans parents. This family has two children, a ds 10 and dd 6, so this was quite a courageous undertaking.
When they arrived to pick up the kids, their eyes popped when they saw the pile of things to be loaded into their already full utility trailer. Higher, we must pile it higher! So we did. When they drove away, it looked like their suburban was towing a tarp-covered mountain.
Bryan and I were glad for the kids to have this weekend at the beach and happy to have some focused time with the two littles, but we found that we disliked having our family split apart. We weren't concerned for their safety (any more than normal) or about the company they would be keeping. We simply love having all our chicks under our wings.
And, I will admit that we were a bit surprised to discover that two toddlers is just as much work as the six children combined. The major difference being the size of the meals I prepared. (One chicken, I only had to wash, roast and season one chicken. Amazing.) It has been 9 1/2 years since our family was in the two kids, both toddlers, stage. Don't think I'd like to go back there.
The kids arrived home, sunburned and sandy just in time for supper on Sunday. (How's that for a little alliteration? *grin*) The father of the other family had only positive things to say about our children. In fact, he said that our eldest daughter, Mara, deserved 5 gold stars! Evidently, she was an exemplary leader this weekend and the other 3 were exemplary followers. Whenever there was the beginning of a bad attitude, "she just looked at them crosswise and they jumped into line."
Pleased and proud, we said thanks and goodbye's, hosed the children off and tucked them into bed. With a satisfied feeling in our hearts, Bryan and I walked down the hall to see a blanket covered lump in each bed. Sleep came easier knowing our brood was safely home.