I don’t have a Masters Degree or a Bachelors Degree in anything. I’m not aspiring to climb the ladder of corporate success nor do I have a management position in my place of employment. I probably SHOULD have some kind of a degree in motherhood. Come to think of it, I DO have a management position, but the wages aren’t too good and I certainly don’t get paid overtime!
With 11 children, I have spent most of my time cooking, cleaning, teaching, and being a referee! Seems I have spent a good amount of time breaking up petty squabbles between 7 bossy, boisterous, bickering girls! At least with the boys, one blow from the other guy and it’s over. 🙂 But with girls it sometimes seems like it never ends.
For instance, I remember when my 3 yr. old and 5 yr. old were having a spat. The 3 yr. old ran up to me and said “Mommy, Gemma said I wish you were dead!” Seeing the look on my face Gemma quickly said “I did not! I just said I wished your head was chopped off!”
My boys used to pose different dilemmas. You know what they say: The bigger the boys, the bigger the toys. I CAN understand why motors were invented. I don’t understand WHY the motors were put on just TWO WHEELS?? Do these people not like mothers??
With that recipe, add a pinch of teenage boy and watch out! Every day I would wonder if only pieces of them would come home. THEY wondered why their machines kept breaking down. Actually they didn’t wonder. They knew why…”Mom, have you been praying again??”
We live 3 miles down a gravel road where the nearest neighbor is a half mile away. It’s somewhat secluded and well, hasn’t always been peaceful. Peaceful is just not the right word. More like…pandemonium!
Have you ever felt like Chicken Little – that the sky was falling down? One day my mother was over at our house, visiting. Our home is a birm home which means the second level is at ground level. The house wasn’t done yet. My mother, dear soul, was in the bathroom when we heard an ear-piercing shriek and saw a flash go by! It was our pig!!! It had fallen through the ceiling! The varmint had somehow got in upstairs and slipped through some floor joists.
My mom lived through that one but it didn’t end there! One day we came home to find our goat’s legs and udder dangling from the ceiling! It didn’t make for a very nice chandelier! She also had fallen through but didn’t make it all the way down and ended up straddling a pipe!!
I always liked the Ma & Pa Kettle movies! But I didn’t necessarily want to live it! 🙄
We have friends who come over just for the Entertainment Factor. There’s always someone to laugh with or laugh AT in our home!
Do I yearn for some peace and quiet?? Yes I do! When everyone is gone and the house is silent, I think of all the things I could do: catch up on some work, read a book, take a nap. After an hour I begin to get antsy. I COULD take a nap but it’s just too quiet.. After a couple of hours I’m asking myself WHERE IS EVERYBODY??
My children…they are the most wonderful people in the world. What a joy it is, when they are young, to have their little, trusting faces beaming at you because, well….they just love you that’s all. Mom and Dad are their heroes! They show it every day in many ways!
For instance, I love to dance. I grew up dancing with my Dad. When it’s the right kind of music, my feet start to twitch. There’s a problem, though. My dear husband dances like a broomstick! So at every dance, my sweet handsome boys would make sure and ask their mother to dance with them. They had several girls eagerly waiting in line. But when the right song came on, they would know who to ask. They can really shake a leg, too. 🙂
Courting days have been very interesting around here for our girls! There was never a dull moment as the suitors stood in line. Dad and Mom knew why. Our girls are sweet, loveable and hospitable. Ok, the real reason is they make killer apple pies!
Was it worth the turbulent teens?? You bet it was!
There have been SO many joys: For example: When our youngest boy was 3 yrs old, he would say, “ME love you, Mommy”, only to repeat it every 5 minutes until his overflow of love was used up….. Watching my boys as they grow up, pick their spouses, start their new business ventures, as responsible, hard-working adults…. having my 9 yr. old make up her own crochet patterns and coming up with a very nice finished product….. enjoying my married children’s families as we all gather around our table (we can fit 17 at our table)….. having enough people to play volleyball every night if we want to ….playing table tennis with my boys…and sometimes even winning!!
From the outside, it seems we haven’t chosen the easiest path. But every walk of life has its bumps along the way. We have chosen to share those joys and bumps with our children, hoping they will take the things we have done right and run with them, while taking our mistakes and learning from them. That is the legacy we wish to pass on.
My husband and I enjoy our life. It’s true, the pay isn’t too good but the rewards are endless! We consider ourselves quite wealthy: Rich in Experiences, Prosperous in Love!
One day, when we are old we will sit in our rockers, surrounded by our children and grandchildren. They will be hanging off every word we say because of our great wisdom. (OK, THAT was an exaggeration).
We will not be lonely, that is for sure! And we will appreciate every minute of it because we have invested our time in what matters most….our family and friends.
Elizabeth VanderPutten said:
What a beautiful post! I love the picture of the 3 boys…it seems to sum them up so perfectly! :p As a young girl once on the outside looking in, I would drink in every moment with your family knowing I’d found something truly special that I needed to hold on to! Now as one of the insiders, I feel thoroughly blessed to be part of the family! Pops always said you were the richest family he knew because it was quite obvious you treasured and prospered in what is most important in this life, our faith and our family. ~Musings of a thankful daughter-in-law 🙂
Your reply brought tears to my eyes, Z! You are always ready to give out compliments in your usual beautiful, humble way! You are a blessing to us!
Claire Allen said:
Ohhh, what a DELIGHTFUL reflection on your very blessed life!!! Such fun to read!! THANKS for sharing!!!!!
Thank you, Claire!!
Natalie P said:
Beautiful! Are you just in awe of the thought of sitting around with all your grandchildren and children, and you being the start of that family? I look down the road another 20 years and wonder if our family will be the same and it’s a bit overwhelming emotionally. I love your family; it’s always a joy to visit with you; and I just have to laugh at the thought of the bickering and whatnot; I never do see it and so it’s kind of nice to know that my girls and boys could still possibly be as sweet as your kids one day. 😀
You are very kind, Natalie! Thank you!