In recent months it has been brought to my attention that certain individuals disapprove of the number of children we have. Nothing could sadden me more. I am not sad, because of the lack of support for me as a parent. Nor am I upset over their disapproval. What makes me most sad is that they see my children as numbers and not the beautiful and miraculous lives that they each are individually.
Braeden is 12 and loves hockey. You can just see that fiery competitiveness ignite every time his skates touch that sheet of ice. He loves and excels in school and is wistful to see the year come to an end. He has natural born acting abilities and uses his gift by participating in skits at church.
Preston is 8 and is a connoisseur of all sports. Not only does he participate in most, but he is a walking encyclopedia of statistics and players. He knows things I don't even pretend to know. He is my sensitive child. And, much like his Mom his spirit and heart are crushed easily by others' words and actions.
Laken is 6 and loves to dance. She can light up the stage when she is dancing. She has discovered shopping and is quite the fashionista when you get her in the dressing room. She has recently come to the realization that if you try new things, you might just end up liking them. She has a new found love in soccer.
Clara is 2 and constantly on the move. She is as agile as a monkey and loves to climb and jump just like one. She has the most irresistible dimples. She adores her siblings and wants so badly to participate in her own activities like the older kids do. She has swimming lessons & learning to skate to look forward to this summer.
Brooke is 9 months old & the sweet little runt of the litter. She loves dolls and smiles and giggles at them. She is standing on her own and likes to bounce up & down as if dancing. She has the cutest waves on the top of her head. And, she has recently decided if you are eating something then she better be, too.
I am not sure when simply having a large family became an invitation for criticism and critique. I certainly do not pass judgement on those families with 1 or 2 children. I am trying to follow the path God has laid before me. The most wonderful part of this journey is that God has indeed carved out this path for me.
I don't need to be reminded that I am less than perfect. I know for a fact that I am a terrible housekeeper. A "lived in" house would exist whether we had 1 or 10 kids. As far as the finances of a large family go, we are debt free. So, I think we are doing just fine in that department.
If you feel the need to discuss my family size, my inability to keep a "white glove" house, finances or any other issue, please take it up directly with me. Because, I would rather spend my days shooting pucks in the driveway with my hockey loving boys. Or watching my oldest daughter shriek in delight as she runs in the sprinkler on the first 60 degree day of spring. Yes, I would much rather push my toddler and baby in dueling swings in the backyard. And watch as their eyes sparkle and the breeze tousles the curls in their hair.
For me motherhood is more than a numbers game. It is about welcoming the noise and mess that children bring. It is investing time in conversations, outings and just plain being together. Most importantly motherhood is not subscribing to the old adage, "Children should be seen but not heard." But rather motherhood is saying as Jesus did, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14.