My husband and I don’t get out often on dates anymore, but when we have the chance, we take it. Greg’s dad stayed with the older four one evening last week, while Greg, I, and the baby went out for dinner. Afterward, we went to the grocery store. Très romantique.
At the checkout, the cashier commented on our grocery load and asked how many children we had. I don’t recall going through a checkout where the conversation didn’t turn to the number of children we have. (I never shop more than once a week.) Then, as the custom goes, they’ll ask me if I’ve seen “that family on TV with like 15 kids or something.”
They are referring, of course, to the Duggar family, which we aren’t even close to catching up with. For the record, the current count is 16 children: 10 boys and 6 girls. We are small potatoes in comparison.
The reason I’m mentioning this is because someone mailed me a DVD Discovery show feature on the Duggar family. On it, the mother of all 16 children, Michelle Duggar, says (to paraphrase), “It’s a lot easier now with all my older ones. The hardest part was when I had five little ones.” I think I rewound that part fifteen times.
I want my husband to think the best of me, to feel confident that our children are receiving a great education. I want him to think he is leaving his children in very capable hands. He knows that some days we get many things accomplished, have good conversations, and everyone obeys. He also knows that some days I am nothing more than a Whac-A-Mole player—stomping out trouble with wild, instinctive swats.
When you have small children, you must remember that two-steps-forward-and-one-step-back is still moving in the right direction. As a patient farmer knows, some things just take a long time. One day, mothers of small children will reap where they’ve sown. It is not for nothing when we take careful, thoughtful time to bring our children alongside of us. It is for God’s glory that we raise faithful children and that we glorify God in the simple, dailyness of life.
Speaking of faithful, I was praising my third child, a lamb of a daughter, for her gentle and quiet spirit last night. She lay on my bed as we had some girl talk. I told her that she’d make a great mother one day. She mentioned that she’d like to have ten children.
“Why ten, honey?” I asked.
She replied, “Because eleven is too many.”