November 4, 2009

Large and In Charge . . .

{Just had to post this picture because my baby is really, really cute!}

Twice in the past two days the size of our brood has been the subject of conversation with complete strangers.

The first was at the local Sears store where we were perusing the aisles of washers and dryers since ours is on its last leg. We had all four kids with us and they were making it their business to check out the fridges and flat screens. A young sales associate approached us ready to give his appliance spiel, which quite truthfully, I didn't want to hear. What we got instead was a suggestion for a larger capacity washer than the one we were looking at since we obviously have A LOT of laundry because we have SO MANY kids. The Hubby then chimed in with "Oh four is nothing. I grew up in a family of seven kids." I'm pretty sure I saw the twenty-something Sears worker's eyes pop out of his head just a little. We left Sears knowing a lot about some big washers with big price tags.

Yesterday my kids were out of school due to the elections and a teacher work day. That meant that to vote I had to bring all four of my offspring with me. I like the idea of the kids watching their mom perform her civic duty. As we approached the entrance to our local polling place {me pushing Ollie in the stroller, Hannie B. holding RedDog's hand, Big C acting all aloof and preteenish} a representative for one of the candidates came up and plastered stickers on the kids while telling me that Teddy Roosevelt said every American woman should have at least four to six children to help keep our country running and strong. He then thanked me for having such a large family. Hmmm . . .

As we drove home I thought about these two experiences. The size of my family is not unusual in my church congregation. In fact there are several families who have twice as many kids as me. But in my neighborhood, and specifically on my street, we are an anomaly with FOUR kids. I know some people think we must be crazy. But I am continually amazed by the specific gifts,qualities, joys and challenges that each of my children bring to our family. We would not be complete without them. We would not learn and grow without them. It was really meant to be this way for us.

Does that mean it's easy? Nope. Pretty much never. We are more or less a traveling three ring circus. I am frequently embarrassed by something a child says or does. We have many cringe worthy moments. Life in public is crazy. But eventually, we get home and laugh ourselves to tears over the chaos and craziness. And when I go in at night to pull the covers up and kiss each sleeping child, I thank a loving God for giving me these precious gifts that make up my large family.
dragonfly signature

13 comments:

Christy said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. Isn't it great? And just when I think Ollie couldn't look cuter, he manages to pull off another darling shot.

west wind said...

hi, it's me mamela with a new name...i think those people were incredibly rude. i also find it rude when people say to me "you only have one child?" keeps me focusing on grace, i guess.

Kasey Hunt said...

It is crazy that having 3 or more seems like so many kids, and the parents have got to be crazy. My Dad is one of 8 and my Mom 1 of 5. Not that long ago, they had large families. I agree with you, it can be hard and challenging, however, Heavenly Father never gives you more than you can handle.

Apis Melliflora said...

I'm so glad you have four... for all the reasons you wrote about and for a little selfish reason of my own: I got to be a part of Owlie's life from the very beginning!

Thorny Tree Lady said...

OK< first off, that airplane hat is adorable (is it a Hanna Anderssen?)! So's the baby underneath it!

Second, sure there are crazy (bad) times with a lot of kids, but there are many, many more crazy (good) times! And when they're older, those times just increase. My husband is the youngest of 9, and his oldest nephew is just 9 years younger. The grandkids are now having babies the same ages as their own cousins. There's never a dull moment, and love abounds everwhere with a big family!

We lived in Europe beack when we had just 3 (we have 5 now, and want 2 more). Nobody stared at us when we spoke in broken Dutch, French, or Portugese, but jaws dropped to the floor when we took our three kids with us in public. People told us we were lucky, blessed, and that we must be rich. In Europe, two kids is a luxury! It made me grateful for what I had.

Nikki said...

The funny thing is, I get the same looks/comments with four kids in UTAH!!! People here seem to be having fewer and fewer kids! I almost think that Mormon families outside of Utah are having bigger families than those here. Strange.

Lori said...

I've had this experience many times myself...especially when we lived in NH with only TWO kiddos! I couldn't believe the comments I got in Colorado when people found out I was expecting Matthew (six years after Allison.) Some were shocked that I would tie myself down again with another baby (now that I had my freedom)and especially since I already had three kids. But just as you've discovered...it is truly a blessing and privilege to be a mother.

Lori said...

I meant to add it is truly a blessing to be a mother whether you have 1, 10 or more!

Burton's blog said...

This post really made me laugh. We get comments all of the time also. When we were in Park City in August we had a woman approach us to ask if "all" five of these children were ours. When we said yes she proceeded to tell us that "three children is the acceptable norm these days". I was so shocked how rude and brazen she was until Brady chimed in with, Your probably right, Which two do you suggest we leave in the parking lot? We laughed for days!

Stacey Gerlach Moe said...

Beautiful post, Sam!

The Queen Vee said...

The "large family" comments will continue the rest of your life. I get them even more now that our kids are all married and taking care of their own families. When I'm asked, "How many grand kids do you have" and I answer "12", eyes POP. Some of my closest friends have none, 1 or maybe 3 grand kids. I feel so blessed by my posterity and don't feel like 12 is all that many as I was one of 35 grandkiddos on my mother's side of my family.

Lori Gerten said...

Your family is beautiful. Those people can shut it because you have such wonderful kids! You are a model and example to MANY of how to raise your kids. Congratulations on your family!

Jessie said...

Definition of "large family" is so relative...when we lived in Seattle with 3 kids people were in awe and questioned why I would stay home with them (Do you have an education?). Now that we are in Utah w/four, we are an average to small family. You know what they say...four is the new six!