I have a number of children. Not a significant nor exorbitant number of children, but still, more than a few. Recently it's been on my mind, why? Why have a bunch of children? What is it about having children that makes me so content? Why do I want to have a million more children? Is it in my DNA? My cultural orientation?
Maybe it's the conversation I had ten years ago with two mothers who each had eight kids. They said, "You never regret the kids you have, you only regret the ones you don't."
Having children is the most difficult thing in the world. It's so hard. There's so much work. The babies come and they're just like little kittens -- balls of cuddle to love and care for who rely entirely on you. That's satisfying.
But babies ruin your body and your sleep and your errands.
And then they grow up. They're noisy and needy and naughty. And I'm right in the thick of it, looking into the chasm of summer alone all day with four kids. I'm ready. This is my thing. Kids are my passion.
I feel like having a handful of kids is living a hardcore lifestyle. Three of the most impressive women I know have 7, 7, and 5 kids. They're big time. They're in deep and I admire that. Their every day lives remind me of Marjorie Hinkley's quote:
But I just can't help myself. I love all four of them and I worry I will never be done having children!
I got this note for Mother's Day from Mimi. The best line is not that I'm (obviously) the best mom ever and that she loves me. This is a thank you note. She writes,
"Thank you for having Lou Lou for me."
From the mouths of babes, no?
Look at that little blessing. Mimi's sister! Who wants to grow up without a sister?
It was the least I could do for her.
Who else will walk the baby on the leash?
Who will invite me on rainy field trips to local cultures day and then talk me in to ditching it and buying them all hot chocolate?
Why would I bother to cook? Who would I eat with? Who would I train as my sous chef?
Whose smooth skin will I bury my face in? Who will I sneak Oreos with?
Yes, they are hard and burdensome and expensive but the payoff is so worth it: imagine the army my sisters and I are creating. I've always felt great security being a member of a big family (8 kids 2 parents) and I want my kids to have somewhat of the same experience. Having a brother or two to beat up on you is good. Having a sister or a few presents challenges and gave me a resource of experience.
So my errands are slow. And my grocery receipts are staggering. Those of you with just a couple kids (by choice, not because of circumstances or difficulty) are welcome to your neat lives. But I feel powerful and validated in my little army of minions. And I know exactly how lucky I am to be blessed with 80 fingernails and toes to clip. So me and my family? We're gonna ride the rails. We're going to swan dive into the maelstrom. And we're going to happily drown in flailing limbs and drooly kisses.