Wife and I took the children to the zoo, joined by my parents and most of my brothers and sisters. All together, we made up a party of nineteen. Not the biggest party the zoo had seen, I’m sure, but large enough for us. We traversed the San Diego Safari Park like a pack of escaped monkeys, jabbering and pointing, with small children hanging from our backs. Continue reading
“You betta’ hurry and get in bed, or you’re gonna miss the story!” was shouted down the hall at a retreating #7, who rushed to change into cooler pajamas.
The wedding was lovely. The bride glowed and the groom was busting at the seams with joy. After a summer of preparation, it came together like a delicious prime rib dinner with all the sides. Even the weather got in on the action. The sun shone all day and the temperature remained comfortable. But #10 seemed to believe the party was for her.
So, it has been a while. How have you been? Continue reading
In the living room, #4 and #7 had a disagreement. Nothing abnormal there. Siblings are bound to fight every thirty minutes or so.
“No! It’s my turn,” #4 shouted.
A sibling fight is like the weather. Sometimes they are fair, while other times they are foul.
“You un assss-ole!” #7 snapped.
And then, every once in a while, we get an earthquake.
In the middle of the night, sometime between too late and far too early, Wife woke to the sound of #9 fussing. He stood in the hallway in near total darkness. When Wife clicked on the light, he simply stood where he was, rubbing an eye and waited for his mother to come to him and put him back to bed.
Anyone who is familiar with large families would understand the necessity of counting children like a banker counting dollars in the vault. In that case, anyone who has visited a large family would respect the time honored tradition of lining children up like convicts to count and verify that they were all accounted for. We have not left a child behind… yet. Nor have we accidentally traded one. But, like the onset of nuclear war, we do our best to guard against it.
Recently, Wife took #10 out with her to go wedding dress shopping for my sister. The party was made up of five sisters, my mother, and #10. A fun group of women and girls, traipsing from dress shop to dress shop, not like hunters on the prowl, but more like butterflies, flitting from pretty thing to pretty thing, wondering if the wind might guide them to the perfect blossom. All the while, the baby held on like a little chimp, not sure what all the fuss was about.
Several weeks ago I had to work out of town. Meaning, like the traveling salesman, for about a month I was only home on the weekends. Wife had the house and children all to herself. It felt like running a refugee camp without US support. To Wife’s relief, the last week of out of town work had arrived. Only one more week away from home.
We really had no idea how easy-going our boys were as babies until the last seven months. And if you took the time to count back, it would be as plain as unflavored yogurt, that was when #10 made her debut. Not to say she came out with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. No, she was a screech-owl in baby clothing.