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

Monday, March 17, 2014

Magic Number

Sunday morning I was home by myself getting ready for Mass.  Jeff was working but set to meet us there, and on his sound advice I started getting the kids ready long before we actually needed to go, so that time wouldn't creep away on me.

Honestly, getting ready for Mass is fun in my house.  Crazy, and hectic, but fun.  My kids LOVE to dress up, even the boys (I blame their Dad, in a good way!) For First Communion, the special gift for my two oldest boys was for their Dad to take them out one-on-one and buy a new suit.  This was the first coordinated dress suit (and only so far) that they owned, and boy does it make them feel special!  Conversations we often have on Sunday mornings are:

Boy: Mom, where are the ties?
Mom: Sigh, I can't find them now.  Just go without one.
Boy, clearly displeased: Sigh, FINE!

Girl: Mom, can I wear my sparkly shoes?
Mom: Sweetie, there's three feet of snow outside.  You need boots.
Girl: Can I bring my shoes and change at the church?

I keep all of their dress clothes in a closet in my bedroom, because otherwise they would wear them all the time.  They love to look fancy, and I like that.  While it makes things so much more chaotic than just sending them down to pick out something from their own closet like any ordinary day, I love that Sunday becomes a day for celebration - a day to dig out the fancy clothes.  And that makes it special for them.

And - I love them.  Each of them.

This week, as I was ready well before it was time to go (thank you dear husband!) I decided to snap some pictures.  I am always proud of them, but there's something about seeing a whole brood of kids looking so spic and span that makes a mother's heart swoon.

My boys

My girls
For all the work that goes into running a family of our size, I would not trade one bit of it.  Six has always been my magic number. Long before I was ever Catholic (at least more than just in name), long before I knew that being Catholic played any role at all in the discernment of children, long before I was surrounded by people who had as many or more kids I knew that I wanted them.  Each of them.  When I was a little girl, growing up in the world with all the same anti-family messages that everyone gets, when I had no counter-acting voice, nobody talking about the good things about large families, I still wanted them.  And when I dreamed of my future family, even as a little girl, I dreamed of six.

Looking at these little ones today causes me to be so grateful that God heard the dreams of a little girl, and fulfilled them.  Of course that is not to say that there won't be more someday - I hope and pray that there will be.  But today, there is something magical in this number for me.  This is the one that reminds me that they were always on my heart.  This is the number that tells me God alone knows my heart, and speaks to it even when nobody else does.  This is the number that makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.


A friend commented, and it is worth addressing, that in no way do I intend this post to seem like big families are somehow holier or more "Catholic" than small families, nor do I think that couples who don't have large famlies are not open to life.  I know many good and holy families with three, two, one, and even no children. Nobody knows where The Lord will take us, and I think being open to life has more to do with the life God calls us to, and less about the number of children we have.  I am confident that families of every shape and size are able to prayerfully reflect on the path the Lord has brought them down and rejoice in the blessings He has given them, and that those blessings manifest themselves in many ways - some visible, some not, but all equally filled with the presence of God.   


  1. Natasha, your family is beautiful! When I was a young girl (before I knew Catholics were notorious for big families as well), I wanted seven children. Seven!! I shocked everyone I told. Now, I have learned that being open to life can mean being open to many children, few, or none at all; though I will never stop praying that this little girl's dreams will be heard, and that He will grow my family as well :)

  2. This is a beautiful post about the love and pride you have for your family. I have to comment on one part though. Calling it "a not Catholic thing not to" have a large family could be hurtful to those of us who haven't been blessed in the same ways that you have. God has given us 3 children so far over 9 years of marriage. I know plenty of Catholic couples who (like me) believe in NFP, and who have 1-2 children or who were unable to conceive. Just because we have a smaller family, doesn't mean that we aren't willing to "accept children lovingly from God", as our marriage vows stated. We put our family in the Lord's hands and we trust His timing.

    I am not trying to be argumentative. I just wanted to let you that part could be read as if you were judging smaller families. I would guess that isn't your intention, which is why I wanted to point it out. God makes families in many shapes and size. I love ours as it is, and I will love it if and when it grows.

    1. Hi Jane! Thanks for the insight, you're right that did not intend it in that way, and I had no idea until you pointed it out that it might be perceived that way. I just meant that people often assume that the only reason I have a big family is because I'm Catholic, when the reality is that I wanted a large family long before my faith was ever even on my radar. I appreciate the feedback and will alter my wording to make sure it does not come across as negative. I know many good and holy families with three, two, one, and even no children. Nobody knows where The Lord will take us, and I think being open to life has more to do with the life God calls us to, and less about the number of children we have. Thanks again, God bless you!