As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Oh Boy!

We were at the grocery store yesterday, and the cashier commenting on our large family looked the kids over and said, "well at least you got two girls, that's good."  I smiled and responded, "yes, but I also got four boys, and they're pretty great too."  I get that reaction all the time, and I never really know how to react.  A passing moment seems too little time to affirm to a perfect stranger what a gift my boys are to me, and yet, I always feel the need for the sake of their listening ears to make sure they hear me rejocing in them just as much.

The fact is that when I dreamed of my family, I never considered the scales would be tipped in favor of boys.  I never thought I'd have more girls either, I guess I always just thought there would be lots of kids in equal numbers.  There was a time, particularly after my first two boys were born, that I really pined for a girl, but I underwent a real conversion during my pregnancy with my third child, who was blessedly also a boy, and who solidified the fact that my heart was made for little boys.  When he was born I felt so full, so complete, and for the first time in my life I felt as though if I only ever had little boys, that was okay.

Of course, I did have girls, two of them.  And they are wonderful.  But, so are the boys.  I attended a birthday party recently where some of the Moms were sitting back watching one precarious little boy.  My eyes were shining for this boy, the glimmer of mischief in his eye, his unmistakeable curiousity and energy that is completely boy, and as the other Moms talked about how spirited he was and how they could never handle it, my heart exploded.  Boys are so full of life, and it manifests itself so much different.  Yes, sometimes (most times) it's crazy!  But it's also beautiful.

Don't get me wrong, there are times when they drive me absolutely mad.  I wish my walls were a little less dinged up, and that my basement didn't constantly sound like a herd of elephants was trampling through it.  But having boys has changed me too, it's helped me to loosen up a little bit.  I was out with some friends one day and a group of boys (including my own, and a few older boys) were playing around, and one by one several Moms came out to wonder if maybe they were being too loud?  They probably were, and I apologized that under my watch they had gotten so rowdy, but I really didn't hear it.  What I saw was a group of boys, laughing, playing, and having good boyish fun.  It didn't seem loud to me, because it wasn't any different than any other day.  In hindsight they were being quite loud, so we quieted them down, and I joked about it with the other Moms, because it's so funny to me that I can be in the midst of all of that and not hear the noise of it all.  Before you get a picture of a blissfully content Mom patiently allowing her boys to experience the full joy of everyday life to the best of their boystrous ability, think again.  I am overcome by it far too often.  But that day, I wasn't.  That day, the Lord allowed me a little glimpse into the joy that is boyhood.  It causes me to look at my life, my vocation, my unique circumstance, and be grateful for the way it has changed me for the better.  I don't know why God gave me so many boys.  But I do know one thing - I am infinitely blessed for it.

Being a parent is not like winning a lottery, you don't keep trying and trying until you finally get the child you always dreamed of.  Every child is a unique and joyous gift.  Don't feel sorry for me that I didn't have more daughters, and don't feel like things are alright because I finally got my girls.  The Lord knows me better than anyone, and He has personally chosen these people to share my life with.  How could I be anything but grateful?  They have enriched my life in more ways than I can count.

Whatever your family composition looks like, be assured that God had a specific plan in mind when He chose those children for you. And rejoice in the gift of each one of them, as your Heavenly Father rejoices in you.

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