When having a big(ger) family is really fun

It used to always get on my nerves when people with 3 or 4 kids would make some comment about their family being "big."When there are TV shows about people with 8 kids, 11 kids, 21 kids, etc., four looks nothin!

Once we had our third, I felt like there were kids everywhere. I couldn't keep up with them. I could only hold one on my hip and the other with my hand (and then had to keep kicking the other one back into line...no I'm not joking)...or I could always put one in a wrap and hold the other two by the hand (but that's when the feeling-like-a-circus-show began.) Then, all of a sudden, I knew what people felt like with more than 2 kids. Three kids was a lot. Our family was "big."

Well, then came along #4. "Oh, what's another one?!!" That never made sense to me either. (still doesn't on certain days - Four can be a LOT more than three) BUT here's the thing: while we DO have one more mouth to feed, another car seat in the van, another person to put to bed at night...the laundry pretty much stayed the same (one load a day is still one load a day.) The house isn't THAT much louder. Bath time is just a little more crowded, and it takes us maybe an extra 5 minutes to get out the door.

Anyway, on any given day, four can feel like a lot...or it can feel like eh, what's another one?! There are days and weeks when I realize how much fun this is. Having four boys, each a year and a half apart...while I'm still in my 20s????!!!

Let me give you some examples of how much fun it really is:

1. With four kids (six people in a family) you can have a pretty intense competition over the games on the road to the Superbowl. (and really, that's only with 5 of us actually participating) We will also be having a pretty wild and crazy Superbowl party...so stay tuned :)

2. When Derek came home for lunch today, I was in the kitchen and heard TWO kids absolutely cracking each other up in one room, ONE kid wrestling with his daddy and doing an all-out belly laugh in the next room, and ONE kid running in to me in the kitchen to hug my leg. Bliss, I tell you. A house full of love and joy.

3. We can play games and have more than enough players.

4. During family Bible time, we have listeners, participants, teachers, and many interesting discussions (including some theological debate between the 4 and 6 year old...often.) Today, they were arguing over who was the first person ever born. Titus insisted it was God, but Justus assured him God was never born...quite confusing for a four-year-old...or six-year-old...or me...

"Make me pure by sprinkling me with hyssop plant. Then I will be clean.
Wash me. Then I will be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7
(Our theme this month is SNOW.)

5. There is always someone to talk to, cuddle with, climb on, chase, race in just about anything your heart may desire (and if you're a boy, there are a lot of things that apparently must turn into a race.)

6. We all learn patience, endurance, the art of order, and the beauty of working together VERY quickly.

7. You have constant bunk mates, play mates, reading buddies...

8. When it's time to clean up, (and everyone decides to help out) it can happen in a ridiculously short amount of time.

9. The kids are used to being the leader, the follower, the taken-advantage-of-er :) (They are prepared for just about any role in life.)

SO, while four kids might seem like too many for me to handle some days...and then not that big of a deal on another day, it is nice to recognize the fun that could not occur if we did not have the specific family God has blessed us with. Having a big(ger) family certainly has its perks :)


Anonymous said…
Anna, as I watch your family I see how true what you wrote is. The other thing I have observed, & heard from others, is that 4 of the same sex makes a huge difference. You immediately have a commonality that makes for fun (and the admittedly more conflict at times). Boys love wrestling & playing superhero & sports all the time. Girls love dolls, shopping, girly movies, etc.
Enjoy the mix God blessed you with through all it's stages & phases. I think that is what the message is for all if us!

Love you all & miss being more a part of your fun.

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