Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Large Families...again...

The Inside Scoop on Large Families

When I grew up in my town in the early 70’s large families were everywhere. I actually think the builder/seller purposely placed about two or three large families per neighborhood just to keep things interesting.

I was always proud of letting those around me know I was the youngest of nine. I would go up and say “hi, my name is Sam; I have Four Big Brothers and Four Big Sisters!!!” It was like belonging to a really cool club or something. It was also really exciting going to friend’s houses that had a lot of kids. Their homes were full of exciting games, interesting people, cute big brothers, and lots of laughs!!!

I used to think that all towns had as many big families as my town, until one day a friend of mine informed me that the rest of us don’t come from towns “like” yours. I took it as a compliment!

People ask me all the time if I get a hard time from others about having eleven children. I can honestly say that I don’t get negative comments. Maybe it is because I have the look of “don’t mess with me” or hopefully it is because we all have smiles on our faces and look happy to be a big family. I am just glad that they aren’t in the car hearing us yell and fight about that is touching who!

My husband on the other hand has a long list of comments like “I’ll stop having kids when I have an ugly one” and “yes their all mine, but the other five are in school!” Not to mention the less charitable ones he comes up with.

One of my teenagers had to write a composition and choose the topic “My Family”. I found it interesting to hear his Inside Scoop on life in our family.

“…The days at our house are always filled with lots of crying, fighting, biting, yelling, running, and more crying. Lunch comes at noon and every one must fend for them selves or they don’t eat. Then we do homework until 3:45pm, and then there is a mad rush to clean the house before my dad gets home. At 4:00pm my dad gets home and everyone starts to calm down, and disappear to their rooms or a friend’s house.
At 5:30pm we eat dinner, and if you complain about the food you don’t get any. Dinner is probably the most interesting time of the day. It usually consists of the younger kids yelling and throwing things until their dessert privileges are taken away. Dinner is especially entertaining if we have company over, you should see their faces. Our guests don’t usually eat while they’re at our house; they are too busy staring at my little brothers and sisters.
My family is very extraordinary, and I am very proud to have them. Usually when I tell my friends that I have nine brothers and sisters they don’t believe me. But when they come to my house they are astounded, and think it is cool. Many of my friends think its normal, because most of them come from large families. I have friends with families of nine, seven, ten, eight, and six kids. I think my family is great no matter how many times I have to help one of my younger siblings. Because of them I never forget how bored I would be if I didn’t have a large family.”

I was surprised and proud that he wasn’t ready to pack his bags and leave town!

My husband and I are always pleased with the reaction we get when we tell the kids we are expecting again. Each time we tell them the house is full of shouts of joy and children dashing around to call family and friends. Last year when we told the kids about baby number eleven on the way our oldest child who was seventeen started crying. We looked at each other and then to her, “are you excited or sad?” We were so relieved when she replied that she was so happy! Wow, we must be doing something right!

I will not lie and tell you things are always great and peaceful around our home. Each day brings challenges, laughs and tears. I have taken on mantras like “Just Do It!” or “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Phil. 4:13.

The kids and I have a little secret. When people come up to us and say how well behaved the kids are, and tell the kids how patient their mom is, we just smile. We decided that I won’t tell if they won’t! The truth is that we are more normal than you would ever know.

Just like any family big or small we all love each other and try to work as a team. That is the best Inside Scoop I can give you!

1 comment:

Cassie said...

I loved this post! We are expecting #5 in our family, and while mostly we are thrilled and excited, there are moments when I am filled with trepidation. I think, how much worse will the chaos get when there are 5 of them? My boys are 8, 6, and 4 and while they are a joy, they are also a hand-full. Baby girl is 18 months, and well, I don't have to tell you how busy a toddler is! Thanks for reminding me that it's all joy - even the chaos!