You know you're a big family when...
...people count the number of your children out loud when you're in public
...people ask, "Are they all yours?"
...you start counting your children when you're out in public
...you have at least three bunk beds set up in your home
...almost everyone you know has less children than you do
...people say, "Wow! How do you manage?"
...people ask you, out of the blue, if you are Mormon or Catholic.
...you buy your pots and pans in the restaurant supply store
...supposed "family size" food portions seem awfully small
...you complain, "Doesn't anyone make large dining tables anymore?"
...you outgrow your mini-van
...you've heard "Don't you know what causes that?" more times than you'd care to remember
...you've forgotten what it's like to be alone anywhere else but in the bathroom
...your children never run out of playmates among their siblings
...everything you buy is in bulk
...people ask, "Don't you get overwhelmed?"
...you and your husband can no longer hold each child's hand while crossing the street
...it takes a wonderfully long time to hug and kiss everybody
...one of your children looks wistfully at the newborn and asks you, "Can't you have another baby really soon? I hardly get to hold this one because everybody else is taking turns."
...you realize that few houses are designed with your family in mind
...people ask you if you've ever accidentally left any of your children behind
...life around your family never seems boring or dull
...your tent is the largest one in any campground
...you feel sorry for people with only two children
...you sometimes wonder what on earth mothers with only two children do with all their spare time
...whenever you set your dining table, it looks like it used to look when you were expecting lots of company
...you read a cookbook and joke, "They call these meals? Sounds like a little snack to me."
...your gratitude at the abundance of God's blessing moves you to tears unexpectedly
...you start thinking of yourself as "rich in children"
...you secretly think that life in your family might possibly be a much more joyous adventure than life in smaller families
...you are vastly amused at much modern parenting advice, realizing that it is unnecessary, impossible, impractical, or simply silly to try to apply it in a large family setting
...you and your husband laugh, "And to think that when we got married, we wanted only four children!"
...your husband sighs happily, "I've finally got my dream car"--and it's a used 15- passenger van.
copyright 1996 by Rebecca Prewett