Over the many years of parenting this brood, I have fielded almost every question, comment, and remark you can imagine.
Are they all from the same marriage?
“Are they all yours?”
“Are they all from the same marriage?”
Yes. They are all mine…and my husband’s. Nine pregnancies, nine labors, and nine deliveries…one husband. No twins…although, truth be told, I prayed for twins. I thought it would be fun, and life couldn’t get much busier, so why not? I thought it would be just like God’s sense of humor to give me twins, on #10 and 11, but I guess that was not meant to be.
Nine was plenty.
Wow! You’re a busy mom!
I remember week after week of walking through the grocery store with two carts. I pushed one with my right hand and pulled the other with my left hand. Each cart had one or two kids in the seat and each had a full basket of groceries. Plus a couple extra kids that were too big for the carts walked along with me. And Keegan?…he had to hold the side of the cart where I stood. He was the most likely to see something exciting, and not be able to contain himself. “Keegan, hold this part of the cart and don’t let go unless I say so.”
“Wow! You’re a busy mom!”
I would smile. “Yes, I am…” But honestly, I really enjoyed shopping with all the kids. Sure, some days it was a little stressful. But it was a lot of fun. I remember chucking bags of frozen veggies at Brendan while he stood at the cart and I walked up and down the frozen-food aisle picking out veggies for the week of dinners. He caught most of them, and management never caught us.
It was a good experience for the kids as well. One would keep the calculator while I sent others off to get the essentials. One would do price comparisons of granola bars, while another would load five or six gallons of milk onto the bottom of the cart.
The cereal aisle was an adventure. I would often let the oldest four each pick one box. Watching them decide which ones were their favorites as well as which ones would last the longest, was enough to keep them busy for a few minutes.
But the reality was when it came time to sticking to the budget, my kids would sometimes have to decide what they were willing to put back on the shelves.
That’s a great lesson for any kid.
Do you have Luke in there?
For those of you that have been reading my stories, you are probably aware that I drove a 15-passenger van for about 10 years. I had a lot of people ask questions about that as well over the years.
“Does it beep when you back it up?” Hahahaha…very funny. No.
“Do you need a special license to drive that?” Again, No.
“I’d hate to fill up that tank!” …Ok, that was a valid comment. I hated it too. When gas was over $4 per gallon, it was close to $140 a week to drive it.
People used to tell me to put signs on it for advertising, you know like city buses do. Not a bad idea….but, I did enough advertising for my kids’ colleges, so I guess that was something.
One day, I was at the YMCA picking up my daughter from her high school swim practice. It was crazy-busy there and a lot of people were picking up their kids from the
after-school programs. There were also a few other vans from area daycares picking up kids to transport them back for pick up.
As I waited for Bridget, suddenly a man rapped on my passenger window. There were a lot of people around, coming and going, so I lowered the window to see what he wanted.
“Do you have Luke in there?”
“Um, no…I don’t actually have a Luke.” I was puzzled. I had no idea who this guy was or who Luke was, either.
“You’re not a daycare, are you? I thought this was a daycare van”…he looked inside the van at the five or six kids I had in there. All mine…no Luke.
“Nope, just a mom!” I said and he laughed and went on his way. It was pretty funny once I realized what had just taken place.
I was really glad to trade in the van after driving it for 10 years. After all those years and dozens of awkward moments, it was time, but some of the stories made it worth the ride.