Mike and I were up at 4.30 this morning getting everything ready for Joseph’s operation today.
We woke Joseph with only enough time to get him ready and in the car. The guilt when he pointed up to a bottle hit. How can you explain to a 19 month old why they can’t eat or drink? By five thirty I had waved them off, my eyes fixed on watching his little hand at the window.
An assumption I find people have quite often is that if you have a large family you won’t necessarily “miss” anybody who isn’t there because there are x amount of others. When it comes to debating large families I have regularly come across a comment along the lines of, “But why would you need more than two/three/four *insert preferred figure here*?!”.
The thinking is that if you have one, two, three (or whatever the preferred number) children there is nothing more that a fourth or a fifth or more could bring to a family that the first one, two, three (or said preferred number) hasn’t already covered.
This New York Times article on large families a while back stuck in my memory because of the one single sentence: “But as families have shrunk, and parents helicopter over broods tinier yet more precious, a vanload of children has taken on more of a freak show factor.”
Well, thank you, Kate Zernike, for clearly stating that my children are less important, less valuable than those in a two-child family. The implication that one would not be missed should a tragedy occur disgusts and angers me, as if any of my children beyond the first one, two, three (or given acceptable figure) is no less disposable than a paper plate to be thrown out as there is no real need to hold onto it.
True, I don’t need my children any more than I need a hole in the head of a plague of cockroaches to swoop upon me. Unlike a hole in the head or a plague of cockroaches, I actually quite like my children… most of the time at least, so I am happy to have been blessed with a fair few of them.
I cannot imagine life without any one of them. Considering all of them have been brought up with the same parents and in the same way they all have completely different personalities. Some are more serious, some are more humourous, some are more active, others more academic – yet each one of them brings about a different quality.
Packing them together as a whole isn’t right either. They are not a part of a bunch, but they are all individuals which make up our family. How I hate it when the ignorant choose to label families with a greater number than that which they consider acceptable as a “litter”. My children are not puppies.
Without Joseph here the house seems… different. He isn’t a noisy child. He isn’t demanding. He is gentle and sweet and the kindest soul you could meet. But the house isn’t the same without him. Everything seems wrong!
Depending on how his operation goes he will be home either late tonight or some time tomorrow. I am hoping he is seen soon and I am praying that everything goes well. I hope he’ll be home very quickly because I miss him.
I’m not the only one.