I've been blogging for almost four years and in that time, I've stumbled across quite a few other blogs. There are only a handful, actually less than a handful, that I read with any routine frequency. Partly because I don't have the time. And partly because I don't have the time. But believe me, there are some fascinating stories out there that I could so easily get pulled in to if I didn't require a little something called sleep.
One of the blogs that I've been reading since I've been blogging is this one. I like it because the author, Chris, is the mother of seven children. (I am one of seven children.) This family once lived in a big house in New England. (I once lived in a big house in New England.) Their family is filled with an energy that was and is so similar to my own.
Other than those striking similarities, I really admire Chris's humor, what I perceive to be her outlook on life, and the stories that she has to share about raising a large family. While some might consider our family to be large - everything is relative - and her's is larger than ours. (By three. I counted and I real good at math.)
Chris's most recent post really touched my heart. She sums up so well the beauty of the team mentality that is created when one has a large family. And she sums up so well just one of the reasons that I feel so blessed and lucky to be the mother of children who are similarly aged.
This past week, Charlie took the kids out to lunch. While they were running around the indoor playground, another boy that was there knocked Henry off the small jungle gym. According to my husband, the triplets who had been doing their own thing and he thought were oblivious to the baby, immediately formed a circle around this boy who was bigger than any one of them individually, but not combined. They demanded that he apologize to their baby brother and then they pointed to their eyes before pointing to him, with the warning that they were watching.
They recognize that they have strength in numbers and that makes me smile.
This morning my sister Beth called. In addition to catching me up on how my father is doing (very well, thanks to those that have inquired) she told me that a little girl in her nine-year-old son's class died of leukemia. Ashley was diagnosed this past January and she died yesterday, less than a year later. Her funeral services will begin tonight. Although her mother had wanted more children, Ashley was an only child. When my sister told me this story, all of the breath that had been in me, was completely sucked out and I had hot tears for a mother I have never met.
My life is unbelievably crazy at times. My children argue and fight and break things and cause a tremendous amount of disarray at home and on the road. There are days that all I want is absolute quiet. No noise. No messes to clean up. No battles to settle. No questions to answer a hundred-fold. No distractions to wipe bums or put on socks or help put baby dolls in dresses that will only be removed and need to be reapplied ten times over the next hour.
Today is not one of those days. Today, I am keenly aware of what my alternative could be. Today, I am so thankful for my healthy children who love one another desperately. Or at least when they're at the indoor playground of Chic-Fil-A. Today I am so thankful for the noisy chaos that my family creates.
I've never heard such a beautiful sound.