Today, one of my sons turns 17 years old. Wow. He's a wonderful young man whom I love to spend time with.
There is something incredibly powerful about my children's birthdays. They touch me more deeply than my own birthdays. Seriously. When they were growing up, birthdays were special because everyone got a day off school, I was always in the kitchen making their birthday cake, which made the house smell wonderful, and we paused for just a moment in the chaos of life, to let the birthday boy or girl know that their birthday was worth pausing for...that they are special, wanted, loved and worth celebrating.
When I first became a mom, I had no idea I would end up being mom to eight kids. As each pregnancy came, I rejoiced with excitement as though it was my first. I followed the progress of my growing baby, taught the other kids that their new sibling couldn't wait to meet them (this avoided jealously altogether) and prepared for the birth of each baby with great anticipation.
I also quickly learned that not everyone shared my great anticipation. Not everyone was so happy about my babies. Not everyone shared my and my husband's joy. I found this incredibly confusing because the Bible tells me that "Children are an heritage of the Lord; blessed it he who has his quiver full of them." (Psalm 127:3) Yet, all my naysayers were Christian people. How can this be? They said things like:
"No way, another baby? How many are you gonna have?"
My response was always, "As many as we want."
"Well, I don't know what you're thinking, but all those babies are expensive and I don't see how you can afford another one!"
My thought in response to this was, "How can we afford NOT to have more?"
"I think you should stop and think about what you're doing here....so many babies can't be good for you."
My thought was, "My doctor says pregnancy is good for me. Since he's the medical professional, I'll go with his opinion."
"Seriously? Another baby already? When are you two going to stop?"
My response, "Seriously. Another baby. Relax, you don't have to pay for this baby or do anything for him or her."
"You have got to be kidding me! You already have two - a boy and a girl - what more do you want?"
"You have got to be kidding me! You already have three!"
"You have got to be kidding me! You already have four!"
"You have got to be kidding me! You already have five! Oh, for crying out loud."
"You two will never have any money."
To my utter confusion, no one in my "Christian" world seemed to be happy about what I thought was one of the greatest blessings of all time.
My response to all this? I didn't argue with my naysayers. What could I say? I was guilty of having "yet another baby." I had no defense.
But I DID have a response. I certainly did. My response?
Have "yet another" baby.
So very, very glad I did!