Sometimes it just gets to me how fortunate I am. And for some of the things I count as my greatest blessings, others have pity on me.
We have my sister-in-law and her three children (7, 8 & 9) living with us, for the second time now. Six months last year and going on four months this year, trying to get my s-i-l on her feet. Slow and steady, she's making progress in paying down the debt that's blocking her from getting her own place. But for now, we're a big blended family, and I call these kids mine.
I tuck the kids in bed most nights. I developed a bedtime routine with them, and they love it. Tonight as I was tucking in Kylie, my middle, I was moved to tears that I've been blessed with so many opportunities to tuck my kids into bed the last year and a half. No matter how busy I am with work or school, I try to always put it down long enough for a our bedtime routine.
Right now my kids are still so sweet and precious (well, at least when I'm tucking them in). The preteen rebellion is starting to sprout, so I'm treasuring that they still want to connect, and forging as many bonds in our relationship to help us survive those turbulent years.
Many probably pity me and wonder how I bear this "burden" of extra family living with us. Some days, it's admittedly hard. But as I tell my wife, "no regrets." We have ample space and resources to share, and I count it a blessing to know these kids and have them know they can count on us.