Friday, June 8, 2012

All Those Kids

It happens twice this week.  

The first time, I'm asked how many kids I have and the answer surprises the one posing the question into speechlessness.

The second time, at my son's baseball game, I'm asked if I'm home for the summer.  "Pardon?" I say.  "I don't understand the question?"

"Home from school.  College."

I've been home from college for a long time.  Truth is, I never finished.  A little thing called life literally happened.

I finally understand the mistake and glance at a friend to clarify.  "She's married. With kids.  5 of them."

It's interesting to me how we can get so comfortable in our circles, in our space, that we can forget that other people don't live this way.

My cousin and I are one year apart.  In talking, we realize that while almost all my friends have at least 3 kids, she lives in a world of bar exams and court appearances and none of her friends have children.  Not one.  I think nothing of chatting up a mom who is cradling her baby in her lap while discussing the upcoming wedding of her 20 year old.  I'm blessed to know many families with similar paths to our own, who continue to encourage and inspire me.

I can forget that, when not surrounded by my little cloud of people who testify to just what I've been up to the past 9 years, people might not know.  That not everyone, at 28, is doing what I'm doing.

So what am I doing?  With all of these kids?  And why so many?  I got my one boy, one girl long ago.  If I had stopped then, with that American standard of perfection in family size, why, diapers would be a thing of the past.  I wouldn't be gritting my teeth and weathering the storm of toddler tantrums.  Me and my 2 would be living a very different life right now.  Don't think I don't know it.  There would be more time to talk.  Less messes to clean and more of me to go around.  More of a lot of things to go around.  I might even be a better Mom if I only had one or two.  Yes, I can see the benefits in families of all sizes.

I'm not someone who thinks everyone should have 10 kids.  Or that there is something somehow superior about large families.   There is no "right" family size.  This overwhelming, intense family of 7? It's not for everyone, but it is for us.  I know it when I talk to moms who feel done and sigh a relief over never changing a diaper again, or having to get home at a particular time for naps.  I know it because while I'm listening and nodding I know that I don't feel that way.  I know it because I really do feel led to this.

Everyone has their own path, their own story.  God has a special and unique purpose for every man, woman and child.

I'm just so happy that his plan for me includes these 5 wonderful  people.  And that He continues to give me the exact measure of grace that I need to live each moment.


A woman approaches me at the grocery, when I'm loading my bags into the trunk, and asks me how I manage.  The kids are struggling into car seats and the noise they make is thunderous.  I'm flustered and bumble out some response, but it's on the drive home, turning the question over and over in my mind, that I come up with the answer.

I don't.  I can't.  All these kids - with their specific needs and personalities.

Thankfully, He can - and does.  He uses me, takes what I've got, and somehow turns it into enough.

Like loaves and fishes, each day, each child, each need met - is a pure and amazing miracle.


  1. You are very blessed Lydia!! Yes, HE can do it and HE makes every family perfect for them!

  2. I can only imagine the comments you get...:-/ I get comments ALL the time with "just" my two about how busy I am and how full my hands must be..perhaps that's an indication that mine are wild ;-)

    1. ...or maybe just that young kids are always a handful? No matter how many you have!!

  3. Beautiful Lydia, this is the life I dream of having someday!

  4. I think your little family is adorable...keep the positive attitude and prayer up close and you will be fine.

  5. Such a beautiful post. And a beautiful family.

  6. I've never met you in person, but I am just smiling here, looking at those two on the right, and thinking they look so much like their mama.

    Blessings to you, and all of your beautiful, just-right family.


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