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Monday, September 22, 2008

I Have Eight Children

Yes, I have eight children all from the same woman. This woman happens to be my wife. We've been married for 24 years. It is difficult for me to understand what goes through people's minds when they learn I have eight children. Usually there is great surprise. Some grapple with incomprehension. Some give signs of admiration. Others tell me proudly they don't do children--instead they have dogs. People's reactions are amusing to me. Of course I know families with more children than in my family so I don't pretend to be anything special.

So why do I have eight children? It is because any more didn't seem wise under the circumstances of age and health. Plus we were running out of 'ory' names. As it is we have Tory, Cory, Rory, Clory, Lory, Jory, Glory, and Story. Seriously, we never set a number of kids that we wanted to have. We thought we were done after our first three boys. After Rory we didn't have any more children for six years even though we weren't using any contraception. It seemed like a small family, but we were fine with that.

Then my wife informed me she was pregnant again. I wasn't happy to have go back into the diaper stage again after getting used to life without diapers, but when our first girl was born it didn't matter any more. Then the other children kept coming every two years. So I have two families. Three in my older family and five in my younger family. My boys have all reached adulthood. I am now raising my younger family. I could say, "Whoa, deja vu!" except it isn't. Raising each child is it's own experience. There is no cookie cutter parenting that I know of.

I know there are people out there who have problems with my having eight children. I don't understand that. My children are happy and healthy. There is much love, joy, and companionship in my home. My neighbors actually seem pleased to see us. So if you have a problem with my having eight kids I think your problem is personal and you need to come to terms with somehting inside yourself. I don't understand people who choose to have only one child, but I respect their right to choose. A person who does not want more than one should not have more than one. It takes a lot of inner resources and commitment to raise multiple children. It is definitely easier to raise dogs. If the commitment and inner resources aren't naturally there multiple children would be a mistake.

I hope in this blog to let those who are curious about large family life to vicariously experience it. So, keep tuned to One Plus One Equals Ten.

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