Last week, my column about life in a big family was published in our local daily newspaper. I enjoyed the comments that followed, both on my blog and through email. We big families need all the affirmation we can get. It’s not always the easiest course raising a larger than normal brood, that’s for sure.
In fact, earlier on in the journey, when we were in the thick of growing our family, we received our fair share of, let’s say, less-than-supportive comments about our “expansion project.” It didn’t help that there were times we both felt like we had stepped into quicksand and were at risk of sinking further and further into an abyss, a place where light and clarity was hard to come by.
I guess I want most of all to encourage families of small children, especially those carrying a larger than normal load, to know that things do get easier and the fog eventually dissipates.
This weekend, I experienced a moment of that fog-lift. It was when we were getting ready to head back to Fargo from our Thanksgiving visit in Bismarck. Having brought two vehicles to make room for some Christmas gifts that were being sent back with us, we realized the kids could split up rather than cram into one vehicle as was necessary on the way up.
“Let’s say boys in one car, girls in another,” Dad suggested. The idea was met with all kinds of thumbs-up. It was easily accepted — not a nay in the house — that this would be the very best arrangement of them all. Progesterone in one vehicle. Testosterone in the other. Agreed!
The progesterone-carrying vehicle stopped at the coffee-house drive-thru on the way out of town. The testosterone-filled rig made a pit-stop at a burger joint somewhere along the way, I’m fairly certain. Our girlie van played Christian and pop music. I’m afraid to ask what was coming through the speakers in the boy vehicle, but sometimes, it’s just better to not know.
What I do know is that we each had our own little party in our respective rigs, and everything seemed right with the world for an afternoon. It was one of those moments when I felt that, despite all the imperfections of life in a big family, it’s all so very worth it. No one was left feeling lonely, and all needs seemed to be met, even if only for a few hours.
So, if you’re still a few paces behind and feeling like the load is going to tip you over sideways, hang in there. Someday soon, you will be giving thumbs-up to one another in a small moment of triumph.
Q4U: What small moment of triumph did you experience this weekend?