The title of this blog is not an attempt to allow you to decide for me if I have too many kids or not, but instead, a post about personal decisions and respect for those. A wildly popular blogger that I regularly read just posted this post about the Dugger family and their recent announcement that baby 19 is on the way. The post made me start thinking (I actually had time for that this morning...I only have three children today) about my own family. Now, four kids isn't really all that many kids. There are lots of families around us with 5, 6 or even 8 kids. I consider those to be big families. Not mine. Its funny, though, because I still get strange looks when I go places. I'm sure I'm quite the sight: two kids in a stroller, one strapped on my chest and another tagging behind me yelling, "mom! mom!" I took Noodle to the airport yesterday to catch a plane to go see his Grandmother in Chicago for the weekend. I got lots of comments about the red hair on the twins, loads more about having my hands full (and yes, I will agree that my hands are full) and even one question about how many were mine (I also had Noodle's 17 year-old half brother with me). Mr. Smartypants and I carefully considered and discussed the total number of children we would have after the twins were born. My nice even number of four children did not happen by accident. We decided to have a baby with the twins and were blessed by two, Moose was also very planned and agreed upon ahead of time. (I won't lie to you, we were relieved there was only one of him). We have agreed that we are most likely done (unless someone who loves us very much wins the lottery) as our resources will limit the number of children we feel we can raise and at some point I would like for all of them to go to school so I can go to the bathroom alone and it not be 3am. But everywhere I go, I get looks. Most in amusement at the circus (and I'll be the first to admit, we are a circus), some in amazement that I so successfully contain them in the afor mentioned manor. Some in disdain because I have so many small children. I got a new look yesterday in the airport: the "please God, don't let her be on my flight" look. He he he...the shock people will be in for at the gate going to Germany if Uncle Sam sends us there next! Can you imagine sitting next to us for an international flight?!? ha ha...even I wouldn't want to sit next to us. All the airport jokes aside, my family is the exact right size for US. We are blessed beyond all reason and I couldn't imagine life without any of my kids. I realize that 4 kids isn't for everyone and that we all choose to have or not have children according to our own lives.
I would beg of you to read the blog I linked to above. She says it better than I ever could. And when you see a mom with many children, even if they're acting like kids, comment to her what a beautiful family she has. If they're well behaved and you notice, say something to her. I know from experience that it will probably make her smile, and she'll feel a little bit better about having to take ALL her kids to the grocery store even when she doesn't want to. And thanks, from the bottom of my heart, for keeping the "she's crazy" and "are they ever gonna stop" comments about me in your head. I know you've had 'em. So have I.