Sunday, August 24, 2008

Entry for March 03, 2008 ~ For the Love of...

I have said it before and I'll say it again.
To be the mother of eight children, two more in Heaven, is what I consider to be a divine call. Not that I hold myself above any other mother, to be sure ~ it was not my first idea to have a large family...it was just the will of God.
When a couple gets married, they might be thinking of becoming parents right away, or not. They might say to one another, "Let's have three ~ my girl, your two boys." or "I would like to wait a year or two, get used to being married first."
What ever...it is not my place to judge anyone's family style ~ everyone does what they like, if they can.
Then, there are the more unfortunate ones who, after trying for maybe five or even ten years, find they cannot have a baby, no matter what. They probably go into their marriage thinking, "When it happens, we will be happy...I hope it is soon." And then, nothing.
They plead, they cajole, they might even try to bargain with God. "If we have a baby, Lord, we will etc, etc."
And who can blame them? The desire for children is innate in most of us, I daresay, if we get married. We want to love a baby, we want to teach a baby, we want to see a baby grow up.
It is just the way we are.
And this brings me to myself.
I come from a family of six children, my husband from a family of five.
We came into our marriage with every expectation of having a baby or two, or God willing, three.
Well, funny thing about that ~ we never had three!
We went from two to four.
And then five until eight.
We lost two in between, of course...so we have our own Saintly army praying and pulling for us before the Throne of God as I speak.
But it was entirely His will that brought us to where we are today.
First, there came Paul. Born in 1979. Big brown eyes, his father's eyes. A real sense of humor. Smart, thoughtful, full of energy. Loves the outdoors, never wanted to come in from the rain...and a real cookie thief, the best I've ever known! Loves dragons and anything by JRR Tolkien. A carpenter by trade. He's married now, and expecting a son at the end of this month.
Second, there was Mary. She came along in 1981. Greenest eyes I've ever seen. Ambitious, smart, loves a good mystery movie, very self-assured, and a real go-getter. Has a good friend in just about every city in the state. She is an accountant now, looking forward to her first home soon.
Theresa & Laura came along next, born in 1982.
Theresa is an actress/writer. Funny, kind-hearted, helpful. Loves a good romantic comedy. Still in school (part-time) and works in an Irish shop. Always willing to volunteer for anything needed at the church, a real friend in need.
Laura, her twin, is like her, yet different. She too is sweet-tempered and thoughtful. Always there when a helping hand is needed. She is also part-time in school, also working at the same shop with Theresa. She also writes, a different type of story, but she is majoring in broadcasting, so there is a bit of a different mindset there, anyway.
And then we come to Andrea. Born in 1983, feisty and full of spirit. One of the funniest people I know, loves to be involved. She is about to become an Art teacher, and is engaged to be married this summer. Believed in the fairies in my garden when she was small...just because I once told her that they were real. Has a very creative mind, a child's imagination.
Next, comes Clare. Born in 1985. Greatest laugh I've ever heard ~ infectious to the core. If I am in the next room, I can stop what I am doing and listen to her laugh...and I will start to laugh myself. It doesn't matter one whit that I don't know the joke. And it reflects her entire personality. She is her father's Italian daughter...fiery spirit, full heart. Wonderful writer, too, by the way ~ a journalism major. Loves all kinds of music, especially vintage. And Monty Python. Jumps to the fore when there is work to be done.
Now, I speak of Julia. Born in 1986. A real "people person." Studying to be a therapist. Loves a thriller, or a psychological drama. She definitely took her time figuring out what she wanted to do, but once she decided, she has held onto her goals and gone after them with a vengeance. Has a lovely sense of humor, very loyal to her good friends and family. A wonderful, sensitive spirit. And a sweet, loving heart.
And finally, I come to Stephen. Born in 1988. Ever since he was a little boy, he has been a sensitive one, but now he hides it more under a layer of humor and an understanding of the world around him ~ observant, a good listener, a superb athlete. Has enough dedication to excel at anything he tries, and will make a wonderful officer of the law, his major course of study. And devoted to his family. Absolutely loves a good joke, especially when it takes him by surprise. Helpful and kind-hearted, good to his parents. And even tho' he is the eighth child, I can't imagine our lives without him.
When they were growing up, we would get all kinds of comments, some positive, some negative. Everyone wanted to know "how we did it." And I am here to tell you, even after all these years, I still don't know "how we did it." I guess by the will and the grace of God.
No, we didn't start out expecting to have a large family. But I don't believe we would take back one day of it, either.
People tend to compare what they don't understand, I find. If one child is one way, they expect the others to follow suit. They will see differences in their own children, and either rejoice in that difference or let it slowly drive them crazy.
And, like any flower garden, a family of three, six or even ten people comes together in the end, only after years of careful tending and hard work, and with the bloom of each "flower" the garden springs to its fullest life in the sun.
We have always rejoiced in our family, and have always been grateful that God chose us to be the parents of our eight. To sit back and "watch the show, the blooming of the garden" was not only a daily source of pride and a reason to be grateful to Him, it was also a veritable treat.
To think that while some may only get one or two kisses at night, before the lights go out, we would get eight. Every night.
And that is a number we will be more than happy to acknowledge any time!

1 comment:

~~JennD.'J.M.J.'~* said...

* jenni…
Okay, I should have saved my previous comment for this post!!! I am drunk off of your family (and in tears after I read this!)...Andy and I are trying really hard to work up the courage to have a second baby (prayers, please!!!) and you come along and in five minutes make me think it'd be a piece of cake. You made me "miss" the baby I've yet to meet! To be continued, I guess! Jen :o)
Monday March 17, 2008 - 11:34pm (EDT)