Sunday, August 28, 2011


(Caleb flexing his independence early 9/05)

Sorry for shouting at ya.
"No" is a word my kids hear ALL THE TIME.
It started early when I had Caleb and Emma 18 months apart,
and has continued as our family has grown to a "mega family."

It isn't necessarily intentional.
A lot of times it is just the way it has to be in a family so large.
I can't always help someone exactly when they want.
We can't get every big tub of toys out that each child wants to play with.
I can't and won't fix 8 different meals...

All of this leads to them hearing "no."
Sometimes it breaks my heart because I so badly want to say "YES!!!!"
But just this week I have seen the fruit of that nasty little 2 letter word.

The fruit of "no" is independence. And self esteem. And even service.
This week Emma started showering by herself.
Caleb started showering with Luke and helping him get clean and get his afternoon chores done.
Gianna even dressed Seth in his clothes one day...without anyone knowing or asking!

We have had to move car seats around to accommodate the infant seat.
We now have 7 car seats in the van. This puts the 3 boys in the back.
Seth is all the way in the back corner.
I have to go through 2 seat belts and over a tire wheel to get to him.
Caleb has gladly taken on the responsibility of picking him up and putting him in his seat.
And buckling Luke in.
I then can crawl back, check that Luke is buckled right and buckle Seth in.
When we get where we are going Caleb lets all the boys out.
The kicker?! Caleb is so proud and happy to do it!

But be warned, Independence doesn't come without a price to Momma!

There are a lot of spills as you let little ones pour their own milk.
(which tests a poor Daddy's patience at the end of the day)

Some broken glass as they get things down themselves.
(just last week Caleb came in and got him and Luke a drink of milk
only problem was he got hold of the buttermilk!)

Possibly some embarrassment as you let them dress and wear whatever they want.
(Tuesday before court I told them, "you can wear whatever you want BUT it must be nice and you can't dress up like a dinosaur or a ninja!")

I have been thrilled to watch their heart as they help each other when I can not.
And as they struggle to get a shoe on and then the proud smile as they finally do!
I love the sweet smile of a child that comes in and says
"Mommy I made my bed and your bed too!"

I hear a lot of opinions on why people think we shouldn't have a big family.
And those people are certainly entitled to their opinions.
But I see so much good come from the fact that I am forced to parent in a way that I would probably not have done otherwise.

So here's to all the Mommas all over the world guilt ridden over having to say no!
Keep on!

"If you want children to keep their feet on the ground,
put some responsibility on their shoulders."
Abigail Van Buren

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