Monday, January 25, 2010

The story of my family

We had our kids in two batches.

Or is it three? Or four?

Our first three children were born in a three and a half year period. A girl and two boys. I remember those days as times of diaper service delivery for two sizes of baby bums, toy baskets in the living room, car seats and nap times. Pretty normal for a young family. Mr. Dirtywrench was a partner in a new business and working about 15/7 for awhile.

Three years later we had another little boy. He became (and stayed for a long time) the little brother, never quite big enough to do things with the big kids.

About three years after that, another sibling. A baby sister.

We had five kids. Lots of noise, lots of fun. Lots of bickering and whining too. But let's not talk about me. This is about my kids.
Five kids was a good number. I actually hoped for more, but it wasn't happening. I gradually got used to the idea that our family was complete, though deep down it didn't really feel that way. Occasionally I would hear someone say, Two (or whatever number) kids and we were done. That was it! I would always wonder how they knew that. How did that feel? I never felt that way. I never had a feeling of completion with our family. But apparently the gang was all here because we weren't producing any more. I had to will myself to forget about ever getting pregnant again. For awhile I stopped holding babies at church. I started planning for the future with ideas of what I would do when the kids were older. I moved on.

So of course.

I got pregnant. And I was hoping for twins. What a better time while I had so many helpers?

The youngest of the five was seven years old.
We were surrounded by teen-age naval gazing and adolescent angst.
And we had a baby in the house.

It was magical. The baby brought so much joy and fun with him. We didn't have TV at the time so we spent our evenings together playing with the baby and laughing at his adorable antics. My big boys didn't change many diapers but they became good at handling the wobbly little person.

As a mom, I had it easy. Live in baby-sitters. There was always someone around to take the baby when necessary. Those years with the drama of three teenagers were tempered by the presence of a fun baby.

One weekend when we were preparing for a rare family vacation at a beach house rental, I developed a terrible belly ache. I couldn't finish the packing, I had to stay in bed. At the hospital the first thing they told me was that the pregnancy test was positive. Our baby Samuel was fourteen months old. The belly ache was appendicitis.

So then we had two babies in the house. And four teenagers. One adolescent.
I was changing diapers and scheduling naptimes while our other kids were getting driver's licenses and jobs. Our oldest daughter was getting serious with a young man. Life was very full!

These two kept us all hopping.
Twin terrorists.
Partners in crime.


History is repeating itself.


Now in 2010 our first "batch" of kids are adults. They have their own places, their own adventures, and one has her own family.

I'm pondering all this because we all spent time together this month. It was difficult to make happen but we managed it. We all tried to cherish the moments together, the meals and late night conversations. We are aware that it will be harder and harder to all come together as seven lives take seven different directions.

It was precious to see how much these kids enjoyed spending time together. The big guys wanted to do fun things with the little guys. The First Batch wanted to relive the laughter and camaraderie of their childhood. Brothers drank beer together and sisters shopped. We all played Apples to Apples and found out that Mama knows them best.

The next generation is already started and every one of us is excited to see where our family is going and who will be joining us.

We are blessed with the greatest kids and I can't get enough of them.


  1. What a beautiful family! Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Thanks for that. I love reading these type stories. What a neat family!
    I have two 'batches', but only three children. Fertility problems, miracles. I would have had five or six if I could. That wasn't His plan. And isn't it funny how God works to give us our desires? I had actually given away all my baby things to a crisis pregnancy center in March and found out I was pregnant in June.

  3. Southern Gal- I had done that too. Gotten rid of the baby stuff. And now we have "twins"!

  4. So I'd just like to note here that I thought this post was going in a totally different direction. Use your imagination as to what I'm getting at... something along the lines of "7 is plenty."

  5. Oh brother. I would NOT do that on a blog.

    The gang's all here!!

  6. Yeah okay so I know I'm pregnant and maybe that's why.. or maybe it's because it's such a distant memory when my family was like this. But tears nonetheless. Real ones even with a little sob.... Wow, you'd think I didn't already know all this stuff. Love you. (ALL of you!)

  7. Life can take some mighty big u-turns can't it Loraine? We've all talked about this and hope ours keep going in the same direction! Love you all too!

  8. I was just looking at this again, and the photo of Neal and I in '91 made me think a bit about the family dynamic. I remember he and I were always butting heads as kids, and that you were stoked to get us to pose and take a smiley photo together (is that right? seems like that's what I remember...). Some things don't change. When I was back home recently, Neal and I were butting heads again (my fault). Still, we get along the majority of the time and we can still get some good photos and memories.

  9. I remember that you were buddies a majority of the time and butted heads occasionally when Neal wouldn't do what you said. You were the dominant one. EXACTLY like Pete and Sam.


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