It’s always fun to see reactions from other people when they find out I have nine kids. Most people at work know me as the guy with lots of kids who must be super patient in order to live that kind of life. I’m not so sure about the patience, but I try. The truth of it is, having a lot of kids just means we have different priorities.
A few weeks ago we stopped by a cracker barrel store looking for some fun candy for the kids Christmas stockings. If you haven’t been in a while, they have a lot of old favorites there. One of the ladies at the counter overheard my wife’s conversation with the cashier who commented on the amount of candy we bought. My wife’s response was that we can’t ever buy a small quantity of something. Think about it – two candy sticks per kid means we have to buy 18. That adds up fast.
Before leaving, the lady approached us and said she was one of 10 kids growing up. Even though she didn’t have that many of her own, she remembers her life and is glad to have shared it with so many siblings. She said that they didn’t have many things growing up, but even though her parents were gone and they were all older, they are all still close. And she’s not alone. I hear that often from people who were raised in large families.
It’s true that our kids don’t have as many things as others – but that’s not a bad thing. They have to appreciate what they have and be patient for things they want. Besides we didn’t have nine kids to give them things. We had them because we wanted that closeness of a large family. We wanted them to learn to cooperate, to share, to live happily with others. It’s not easy, it requires a lot of patience and work, but it’s worth it.
It’s nice that, for the most part, people are supportive and positive about it. But just in case you were wondering:
- Yes – we know how this happens
- No – we don’t have cable
- Yes – we are the crazy type that also homeschools
- No – I don’t need another hobby, I have enough to do
- Yes – it’s awesome.