I guess having a "large" family, random people have a habit of coming up to you in public places and telling you the weirdest, most private things. Im used to this by now and no longer looked shocked when a perfect stranger insists on letting me know the details of her weak uterus or the fact that her decision NOT to pro-create was due to the secret countdown she had to leave her clueless husband.
I also cannot begin to tell you how many older women (of all backgrounds) look at me and my brood with a distant dreamy smile. They tell me how they wished they had more, If only they had the wisdom that they had now back then, if only they didn't wait so long, if only... I hear many if onlys...
Last year my resolution was to read the bible in its entirely. I failed miserably but came out more blessed than I ever imagined. I deeply studied Genesis and part of Exodus. These are books I have grown up hearing about. There stories were nothing new to me but they were on the list so I read. Never could I imagine the lesson I learned those few short weeks. God revealed to me His true thoughts on children, His true thoughts on the purpose of life and what we were put on earth for. A God so rich and powerful, who placed the stars in the sky wherever He saw fit, who had the power and resources of anything in this universe CHOSE children as blessings. Children were considered the ULTIMATE gift. A King could have all the riches in the world, but if He had no descendants he was worthless. When God was happy with His believers He blessed them with babies, when they sinned and God became angry.... He closed their womb. Blessings from generation to generation were not land,cows,pigs,servants and riches (which were all important back then...) they were children. Blessings past down from father and son, from God to Abraham and Moses all contained the same key word.... Children,offspring. Page after page new revelations were revealed to me. I sat in bed and kept interrupting my husband telling him the newest information I found.
Now we can fast forward a few thousand years. We have thrown out those God given blessings and replaced them with houses,cars,jobs,vacations. "I simply can't afford anymore." has become the newest catch phrase. I laugh because they then tell me about their million dollar vacation and their 3500 sq. ft house. They complain because they have a million places to take their kids to...dance class, football practice... then off to the boutique to pick up an $80 dress for pre-school.... "UGH" they reply... it just costs so much for clothing... as they buy $100 sneakers because someone says its cool to wear them.
I wonder when did it all change? Was it a specific year? When did children become an overly expensive burden? When did people see that the size of their home mattered more than the size of filled chairs at their table?
America is made for a family of 4!! If you have a boy and a girl then your really living the perfect american dream. Trips are made for 4, tables are made for 4, hotel rooms are made for 4. Look around you... anyone with more than 2 kids now have to plan their trip with a bit more effort. Throw a few more in there and forget about it.
We laugh at other countries for putting limits on the kids they can have. Are we any better? Keeping up with the Jones's is far worse than obeying law right? Who picked the magical number 4 anyway? And when did this all come into place?
Of coarse everyones circumstances differ, health reasons, death and so forth sometimes puts a big wrench in peoples plans... Im not speaking about them...
I just sit here and think.