This is not usually my job.
As a matter of fact, my job is usually to laugh at the people doing this job.
Because they're paranoid.
And I am not.
How could I have switched roles so fluidly? Without even letting myself know? Didn't I realize that I was supposed to check in at the personality desk and notify myself that I would be having a temporary role reversal? What if it's not temporary? What if, in forgetting to check in, I forgot to alert myself to the fact that this is, in fact, permanent? I don't think I can even go there... Why borrow trouble from tomorrow? Ahhh, that sounds more like me, maybe I'm fine.
But why in the world, then, do I find myself checking to make sure the doors are locked, not once, but twice? Why would I pull JT from bed at a quarter to one this morning to go downstairs with me and investigate the thumping sound, which was, of course, simply the dog having a heyday in our trash can since we forgot to lock him up? Why do I feel the need to check on my sleeping siblings three times before I finally go to bed? Why did I lie in bed for an hour last night, listening to all the sounds a sleeping house makes, fighting my imagination as it concocted 'worse-case-scenario' explanations for every creak?
Because, duh, my mom, dad, and brother - the ones on whom I usually depend to discern any grave catastrophe (such as trash can thumping) - are gone this weekend! Ben took off Wednesday morning for Narnia and the North! Um, I mean, for Seattle, to go to some conference-thing with his honor's society (obviously, I was a little vague on details). Mom, Dad, Zach, and Rachel soon followed his itchy-footed example, but being loath to mimic him to the letter, they departed Thursday for the sunny south, travelling down to California to visit Grandma and Papa.
And so, you see, I am stuck here in the middle, burdened with the responsibility of being the paranoid, "is-everything-secure?" guard, and liberated by assuming the self-declared title of "Queen of the Fort." Even though the seven of us feel a bit forlorn without our MIA family members, we have had a lovely couple days, and have fun plans for the rest! Emily, my "Queen of the Fort in Training" (also a self-assumed title), and I have ruled with an iron hand of gentleness, and our minion--I mean siblings have done their duty in keeping us amused. Behold, as an example, the following conversation, which took place last night after the Twinkles (at the capable age of five) had been attempting - for nearly ten minutes, mind you - to spread a blanket on the floor:
Sarah: "Hurry up already, girls, It's taking you, like, three years!"
Megan: "Well, this is still the first day, hello!"
Besides providing smiles, the Middles and Littles left to our care have been a great encouragement in completing their mandated tasks--that is to say, their minuscule chores we graciously suggested. I believe their diligence was largely aided by the reward system the wise heads of the QOTF and QOTFIT set up for them. To be brief, we offer one, almost-full meal to each individual who completes his/her tasks within the course of a day. It has been unequaled in its results, and I strongly recommend it to any less-wise authority struggling with slacking, lazy children who refuse to work twelve hours straight.
O, look at the time! I must be off to my beauty sleep. A queen, you know, needs her rest...If I can sleep in this thumping house. Maybe I should go check the locks again.
Signing off, this is the totally
Mom, Dad, Ben, Rach, and Z, we can't wait 'til you come home!