Heart Shaped Holes

For nearly ten years, I have received by-the-minute-up-dates about the children from Wife. I’ve always known, whether I wanted to know or not, when a child cut their first tooth, when they first rolled over, and when they did whatever came next. I’ve been the first Wife told for so long, that I had started to think of it as an inconvenient right of mine. And so, I would attempt to show the appropriate amount of excitement, while feeling little of it. Wife was never fooled.

Little Baby Boy

Little Baby Boy

After eight children, I felt I had a good idea of the flow of our babies’ development. And the other night, when the baby was about two weeks old, I realized that Wife had not yet announced that his umbilical cord had fallen off. I inquired when she thought it would happen. She responded, “Oh, it fell off days ago.”

I was shocked. What happened? Why wasn’t I told? When did I get taken off the Need-To-Know List!

How did I come to this?

How did I come to this?

Wife then said that the children had all gotten very excited when she told them.

The kids knew before me?

            She said that they all “oohed” and “awed” very nicely. They peered into the empty belly-button. They squealed with pleasure. I think someone even asked if they could keep the umbilical cord. (Don’t get grossed out. Wife wouldn’t allow that.) The girls were especially excited. Wife found in her little court of young ladies, all the enthusiasm over the baby that she felt herself.

I, on the other hand, with all my external indifference, had worked myself out of a job. That was unexpected!

I’ve heard it said before that nature has a way of filling in the gaps, or that God provides whatever is needed. So, He gave Wife daughters first, to give her the help she would need.  In our four girls, she found little hands to make her work lighter. Either with meals, cleaning their younger siblings, or house work, they are their mother’s big helpers. As they are growing into young ladies, they are also becoming lifetime companions for one another, as well as for their mother.

While part of me misses the attention that our girls are now getting from Wife, I am happy to see the job done properly. After all, it’s never good to try and force a square peg into a heart shaped hole.

Little hearts of love.

Little hearts of love.

Our Christmas Eve Package

Over forty-one weeks in the making, arriving twelve days late, with an overall weight of nine pounds and four ounces, our package finally made it home. #9 joined our clan. With his contribution, for the first time ever, the boys out number the girls. And after four girls in a row, that’s something I thought I would never say.

#9’s entrance into the world was without complications; however that is not to say it was without anxiety and a good deal of pain. He was due mid December, and Wife had all the symptoms of early labor. We were ready for his appearance at the end of November, but our boy had other ideas. Either he was very comfortable where he was, or he really didn’t want to face the world, in which case I can’t blame him. After several weeks of false labor, it continued to be false labor.

STILL pregnant...

STILL pregnant…

I’ve already written about how Wife had prepared for Christmas, so that when the baby came she would be able to recover without any worries about any of the Christmas details. About a week and a half before Christmas, she ran out of things to organize for the big day. Then she started to pace.

Have you ever seen a woman pace when she is over-due? She holds her belly with all the tender love and affection that makes a mother’s love incomparable. She strolls around with the comical waddle of a penguin. Her eyes dart back and forth seeking any mischief or mess-makers with the directness of a tiger. And the whole package has enough force to rival a typhoon.

At long last, after a full day of doubtful contractions, Wife’s mother made the call, she was definitely in labor. I met them at the hospital after work and thought that the twenty-third of December was a good night to have a baby. It was not quite as good as the twelfth, but it was better than the twenty-fourth. And so Wife labored into the night, until the twenty-fourth rolled around.Who You calling ELF?

Yes you read right, a Christmas Eve baby. He was a great gift, but his timing was about the last thing I expected. I’ve often heard of Christmas babies, and always thought it was a bad date for a birthday. I would never do that to one of my children. I mean, what are the odds? But then my sister pointed out, “Well, the odds for your family are about one in nine.”First Christmas

It Never Gets Old

It never gets oldThe world is once again a better place. #8 has made his way into it with chubby cheeks, long fingers, and an extra helping of hair. Arriving overdue, he was a great relief to Wife as well as the event of the year, to anyone who is important that is. The entire household is just as happy about the new baby as ever.

I can see how a person might think that after seven children, the eighth would be old news. But, what I can tell them is that each birth is just as exciting and tremendous as the first. Granted, I enjoy a better understanding of what is happening and how best to lend a hand, but that doesn’t take anything away from experience.

Wife and the baby are sleeping, and in the silence I have a small moment to recollect. No matter which child I pick out of the group, I remember their birth; what was precious, what was scary, what happened in general. With each little one something more is added to me. I am a little richer. I am a little poorer. I am a little more understanding. I am a little more just. I am a little more blessed. I am more greatly loved.

Looking over my little toe heads I believe I have an understanding, however minor, as to why God puts up with us. From Adam and Eve on, mankind has mostly been filled with shortcomings. But we have within all of us the redeeming quality of love.

And now I look onto the fresh little face, nearly hidden by wrapped blankets, with that flat nose that all babies have. He will learn from his parents as well as his siblings. He will learn from his brother how to empty the pots and pans out of the cupboards. He’ll pick up how to wrestle in the front room and get in everyone’s way. He’s sure to learn from his sisters how to loath cleaning the kitchen. He’s likely become a master at evading his mother when she wants help with the laundry.  And he will learn from us all how to love.

The world is certainly a better place.The world is a better place

Post from Wife: Happy Father’s Day!

Our Father in Heaven, I thank you for my Daddy. He was there to  raise me, protect me, and guide me all through my childhood and even into motherhood. He played a major role in guiding me to the father of my children. His example of sacrifice and faithfulness caused me to search for a man with the same virtues. I am also thankful for the father who raised my husband, and helped to mold him into the man he is today. Thank you Father of all Creation, for placing me where I am with these generous men who strive to provide for their families in all aspects of life.

In honor of this Father’s Day, I wish to share with you all, the joyous moments of each of our children’s births, making my husband a father each time.

Daddy with #1

Birth of #1 and my husband as a father.

Daddy with #2 (and #1)

Father of 2.

Daddy with #3

Naps with #3

Daddy with #4

Proud Daddy with #4.

Daddy with #5 (and 1st son!)

Finally a SON! #5

Daddy with #6

#6 rocking with his Daddy.

Daddy with #7

A very tired pair… Napping with #7.