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My life is a clown car

I woke up before six of my children this morning. Two were already awake and hanging out with daddy downstairs. When I was only about half-ready to embrace the day, I made the stairs creak. Their heads turned and my youngest said “Mama!” I’m a regular around here.

I sit in the desk chair and sip coffee. One by one, the rest of the kids are getting up. The stairs creak and our heads turn. One has major bedhead and flops on the couch. A big kid turns the corner into the living room and pretends to not watch the Yo Gabba Gabba “Train” episode I put on for the little guys. Eventually, each will join the others like another link in a paper chain. I do a quick inventory to see who is still asleep. It’s the two oldest boys, of course.

I never forget I’m the mom of a large family, but I’m still a little surprised by them sometimes. I know how strangers feel in the Costco parking lot when we pull up next to them. They’re unloading cases of canned fruits and sheet cakes. Our doors open and one kid hops out. Then another. They keep coming. We are watched, obviously. Sometimes, I’ll smile at the stranger and say it’s like a clown car.

I’m surprised by them when I have to pack for trips. How much underwear?

I’m surprised by them when I have to fill out paperwork for school.

I’m surprised by them when we are standing single file in a line at an ice cream place, each of us ordering the perfect cone. My favorite is when a small child, too short to see (or be seen) over the counter, is lifted to say he wants “chockit on da pointy cone.” Surprise, clerk!

7/8 kids and their mode of transport in the background ~ Spring 2012

It doesn’t surprise me how easy it for everyone to open their hearts to a new sibling. They wait for each other to jump out of the van when we’re in parking lots, only slamming the door when they’re sure everyone is through.

4 comments to My life is a clown car

  • This is so sweet! And I can of course relate to all of it. My kids watch Good Luck, Charlie regularly, so of course we recorded the new baby episode. And after watching it no less than 3 of the 6 kids came to me to ask when we were going to have another baby. I told them they could pray about it. While I don’t think we’ll be growing our family, it makes me happy to know my children don’t feel there are too many of us or that we can’t handle what we have or anything.

  • Ah, this made me smile, and my heart swell 🙂

  • I always wanted a big family. To have one, to be part of one. Living through you and your Costco-sized family :).

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