Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice when He could do something about it. But I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My gift

A few months ago I received a priceless gift... 

Not that kinda gift, but a gift no less.  This simple gift has been invaluable to me over the past few months and it was given by a most unlikely person..  Here's how it went down.

Our son Jack had a buddy spend the night.  When his parents came by to drop him off they came in and chatted for a bit.  They are a fantastic family and Marc and I really like them.  As they were leaving our chaotic house, they were telling us how they would be taking their one other child out to dinner and having a low key evening.    Well, Marc and I couldn't help but go to that "place" we sometimes go to and started having this little "what-if" conversation with each other.

me: Wow, they probably think that we are insane with all these kids running around and then leaving their child to behave like a hooligan in the back yard with the rest of them.

him:  Could you imagine being able to both go out and spend the evening with just one child and doting on them?  

me: yeah, that would be great.  You could even take one kid to the movies and it wouldn't cost $200.00 like it would for us to take our crew to the movies.

him:  yeah, it would be so chill to just have one or two kids..could you imagine what we could actually accomplish in a weekend? 

and so on and so on and so on...we go to these places and fantasize about how easy it would be to have 2 kids... it's the old scenario... "the grass is always greener....until you get there" 

Anyhow, back to the gift... 

So all the kids are playing in the back yard, we cook out and then hang around a bonfire.  When it gets dark, they all grab flashlights and run around, hollering, and laughing up a storm.  Occasionally, Marc or Grandpa hides behind a tree or playhouse and tries to scare the ba-geebers outta them and they all go wild.  Now this is a very typical Saturday night around here. Then it happens...  I was given the gift that has gotten me through the last few crazy chaotic months of readjusting with a new child that is just learning all the ropes.  
Jack's little friend, in all of his 6 year old wisdom,  is standing about a foot away from me trying to find a good hiding spot and he say's these words that have been echoing in my head when I feel overwhelmed.   "This is the best day of my LIFE!"   His words about knocked me over, he wasn't even talking TO me, he was just saying  it out loud.  I could feel them sink into my head.  I had just been in a little pity party with myself about all of the things that I can't do for my kids since we have such a large brood. And just hours before I had seen his parents and felt a twinge of jealousy over the simplicity of the path they choose.  It took the words of a 6 year old to validate me in that moment.  You see I saw this little kid having it all...having what I wish I could give to each of my kids... and here he was having the best day of his life in our ordinary moment.

So my gift my not have looked like this:

 But its value has been much greater to me.    Marc and I have since vowed never to go back to the "what-if" place.  There are so many positives to having a large family.  There is bound to have a flip-side, but it does my psyche no good to go there.   We are blessed, and I am thankful for the small reminders that it's the little things that mean the most.


Anonymous said...

Wow....I just loved this post!!! Our son spent 11 years as an only child and longed for a sibling....We used to have the quiet moments, the tranquility and now we have added two girls (ages 8 and 10 ) to our family...I would not trade our new path for anything.....!!!

Mary Kate

Amy D. said...

Oh thank you, thank you thank you for this!!! I have been having so many of the "what if?" moments lately, as we are expanding our brood from 6-7.
We have the house that always allows a friend, and that kids love to hang out at and it is a great reminder that big families ARE fun to be around! My kids often say.."what if we only had 2 kids in our family.....that wou,d be AWFUL"!

These little reminders help to calm the guilt that bubbles up when I see content, and "normal" looking families of four!

Amy D.

Cheri said...

Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes it can be very difficult having a large family. And I totally get the whole movie experience thing! Too much money. I need to be reminded more often than naught that I do have a good life...even with all the chaos and hooligans running around the house.

Mikki said...

I have a big family as well. I know there has been some "what ifs?" in our lives too. It's the "what if's?" that makes me thankful for what I have, I can't imagine not having a big family. I am truly thankful to have a big family.

Micaela :D

Kim and Greg said...

Awwww, I love your post!!! How precious and validating is that?! We're in the process of adopting our 4th child and I'm scared of the chaos but I wouldn't have it any other way!!! Congratulations on your blessings and beautiful family.


Amy said...

LOVING all of you that are enjoying your big families! Y'all make me feel NoRmAL :)

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful post! thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Barbee said...

Thanks Amy for the reminder. I've been going to "that place" alot this winter!!!!

Jennifer and Greg said...

I must admit... We play the what-if game around here too.

Then something will remind me of the abundant beautiful life God called me to and it is better than any quiet dinner alone!

Thanks for the post!

Bailey said...

Wow, wow, wow! You are so very blessed. we all are, and sometimes it takes a little one to remind us of that fact. What a great gift you have and you are to your beautiful family.

Mommy said...

Love this girl! Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I miss hearing from you!

Love for Lilly Yin said...

I was an only child growing up and it was very lonely. My friend had 3 brothers and 2 sisters, plus a million cousins. They all lived on the same road. I LOVED going to their house. Great memories!

Kristi said...

What a precious gift! I love that story, and needed to hear it after being "scolded" by a one child mother when I told her we were carefully evaluating what activities we started our kids in because with four so close in age we'd have a tough time getting everyone everywhere. Your gift blessed me today too!

Nicole said...