~ Large Family Thoughts
This week I got to go work in my oldest son, Britton's, class at school. They were making Egyptian Death Masks. It was really neat; we smeared Vaseline all over their faces and then used wet plaster strips across their face. When the plaster dried another parent pulled the dried mask off their face. Then this coming week they will decorate the masks. It took a couple of hours but it was really fun thing to go and do with his class.
Then a couple of days later I get a note home from Chandler's teacher asking if I would please work in the classroom for the Halloween party. That sounds like fun, sure! Then that evening a mother from Kaitlyn's kindergarten class calls and asks if I can bring treats on Halloween for her class, and then not moments after I say yes to that a mother from Britton's class calls and asks if I can bring drinks to Britton's class party. So I will work at Chandler's party and send treats to Kaitlyn's and drinks to Britton's. Three kids in elementary school,--very interesting.
So I wonder what happens when this baby goes to school--what will our family be like then? I figured out that Britton will be a Junior in High School, Chandler will be an 8th grader in Junior High School, Kaitlyn will be a 6th grader in elementary school, Sydney will be 2nd grade and the baby will be a kindergartener. CRAZY!!!
I am not from a large family. I have two younger brothers. Monte, my husband, is the oldest of seven. We were talking about the pros and cons of both larger and smaller families. We cannot buy our kids everything they want; we can afford very few frivolous purchases. When we go somewhere in the van, when the baby is born, it will be full so we can't take anyone else with us (that could be a pro or a con!). Life if more hectic and you have to wait your turn and often you do not get mom or dad's assistance when you ask for it; we may be too busy with someone else.
My oldest son and his best friend taught me a valuable lesson about these very issues. Britton was the oldest of three when they had this discussion and his best friend Dylan is an only child. Dylan gets almost anything he could ever ask for. His parents are wonderful and love him very much. I always wondered though if the boys notice their differences. Then one day I was in the car with both boys and Dylan was talking about a new video game he got. Britton says he would love to come play it with Dylan but he doesn't own it because he has a brother and sister. I started to worry about the comment when Dylan, in his cheerful way, pipes up, "Yep I get most things that I ask for-which makes me lucky- but you always have someone to play with-which makes you lucky!" Britton and Dylan understood!!! They are both lucky and loved just in different families!
I think a big family is hectic but is perfect for Monte and I. The kids are learning tolerance of others; hopefully they will learn patience with others and empathy. As a parent I have learned that they each are so unique and bring their own blessings and trials. I am not always excited to be the mother of five but I can't imagine it any other way.