For those of you who know me, (and I am assuming that you all do or you wouldn't be reading this!!) you are aware that I can be a bit sarcastic... Ok, I can be a lot sarcastic. Just ask my kids! You know it's pretty bad when you say, "Good job guys!" and they look at you kind of confused and ask, "For real or are you being sarcastic?" Hey, I know that I'm not perfect. I'm working on it, but in the mean time, being the mother in a "mega-family" gives me plenty of opportunities to flex my mouth muscles. If you have more than 3 kids, you probably know where I'm going with this. You unload the smallest kids from the van directly into a grocery cart. Then you order those not small enough to actually fit in the cart to grab onto the side of the cart and hang on or they will get lost or a "yuck guy " will steal them and we will never see them again. ( Fear works wonders when you are significantly outnumbered!) You then grab another grocery cart for groceries and somehow, perhaps through the grace of God, manage to maneuver both carts and 5 little kids into the store. You might be wondering where the 3 older kids are at this point. Pick an activity, it could be basketball, youth group, at a friends house...whatever. The point is that they aren't with me so I have no help. I start filling up cart #2 with various household items as well as a little treat specifically purchased for bribery for good behavior! ( Bribery also works wonders when you are outnumbered!) The kids are being pretty good and then it happens. You notice the open mouth gawking or maybe the actual counting aloud..."One, two, three, four, FIVE kids!!!" I just smirk thinking "HA HA I have three more that aren't here right now! You think that five is a lot, how about EIGHT!!?"And then comes the inevitable question, "Umm, excuse me, but are they all yours?" Wellllll, duh! Like I would voluntarily take five kids that belong to someone else to the grocery store?! Usually I just smile and nod and we continue on our way, but sometimes we are pursued. "Do they all have the same dad?" or "Don't you have cable?" or there is always my favorite, "Are you CRAZY!?" Seriously?! " Yes." This is usually said through gritted teeth. "Wow! That's a lot of kids! Better you than me!" This is when I get to be a little bit of a smarty-pants. " Yes! You are right, better me than you!" We have also been asked if we knew what caused "it." By "it" I assume that they mean more kids. I have been known to wink and say , "Yes and obviously we are pretty good at it too! huh?!" One time I was at the hair salon. I was pregnant with Noah at the time. He is number 7. The stylist asked me if I was going to get fixed after I had him!!! I just looked at her and said, "I'm not a cat and I'm not broken. I have nothing that needs to be fixed. "
For some reason people feel the need to apologize for only having 1 or 2 kids. For the record, I firmly in my heart of hearts believe that God will give you the number of children that will bring you the closest to him. For some that is 1 child. For some 2 or 3 children. For some 8 or 10. And some people might not have any. I just know that for some reason Brian and I have been entrusted with the job of raising these 8 little souls to grow strong in their faith and love of God. This is the number that God has given us, at least for now. We are definitely drawn closer to God daily. We are always praying and talking to God. It could be something as profound as "Please God help my children to know what vocation you are calling them to when they grow up. " or something as simple as "Please God help me to not kill Noah because he has ripped the wallpaper off of the wall in the hallway for the 7th time this week." It could even just be "Help Me GOD!" All that I know is that if having the gift of each one of my little blessings means that people will make their snotty little comments at us or just stare in awe at the shear size of our family, I will happily deal with it. My response when someone says, "WOW! You sure have your hands full!" I just smile and say, "Rather full than empty!"
My 8 little blessings