Once upon a time my family consisted of: Me, Hubby, Rose, Anne, Joe, and Cakes. Six people. Four children, two adults. I am a counter. I count the kids when we get into the car, during activities, and when we leave. Counting ensures that I know where all kids are at all times, thereby ensuring their safety and my sanity.
A year ago, we added Miss Q to the count. Adding one was fine and I had a few months to get used to the new count of five children.
Then we added Mr. J and our count became six children. Again, adding this one was fine and I had a few months to get used it the new count.
Then came Baby Jim. We had known about his arrival for quite a while, so he was easy, easy to add. And my count was seven.
It was a large family. Nine people in total. Seven kids to keep track of. But I was fine. My count was spot on.
Then the first week of July Mr. J left. The first week of August Miss Q left. And my count was Off!
I kept counting five kids and thinking I'd left someone behind. I'd count and recount. Sometimes while I was driving I'd have the kids count off for me again, just to ensure that everyone was in the car, even though I had counted them getting in. It was ridiculous.
The foster kids left in such rapid succession that it took a while for my brain and count to acclimate themselves to the new number. I now have five children. Only five. Once my count readjusted I was fine. Absolutely fine.
A stranger, on hearing that I had five kids, asked how I managed with "so many children". I laughed and told her Five was easy when compared to Seven...I just had to adjust my count. ;)