august 2014 016

A few weeks ago, I took one of those Facebook quizzes. I'm sure you know the ones (What country should you live in? What state are you from? Which Friends character are you? etc.). I usually have no problem ignoring them as my computer time is pretty limited. This one, however, I had trouble ignoring.

The topic was: How many kids should you have?

I took the quiz carefully pondering my answers. For most of them, I wasn't quite satisfied with A, B, or C, but adding my own D choice wasn't an option. So I picked the one that was closest to how I honestly felt.

I started to get nervous as I waited for the results. The friend who had shared it with me has four kids. She stated that she scored well within the "Four or more" category. She was relieved as she joked that she can't really give any of them back, after all!

My answer popped onto the screen. I instantly felt my face grow hot as I blushed. I pulled the laptop closer to make sure no one could see the revealed answer.

I have six wonderful children. They are my greatest treasures, and I can't imagine my life without any of them.

So WHY was the number "THREE" staring back at me!?!

I awkwardly laughed on the outside; but on the inside, I started to second guess my vocation as mother to many!

I quickly went back over my answers. Surely, I just chose wrong. Yet, besides the fact that I wasn't in love with most of the choices that I picked, they were honestly the best of the batch for me.

I couldn't sit at the computer for very long (sometimes this is a very good thing!) because I'm a stay-at-home mom. I was able to put it out of my mind until later. But like most moms, my mind never really shuts off or "loses" things that would be better off  "lost." Rather, it just rotates concerns.

While making dinner that night, I think I came to some pretty good conclusions. Truthfully, if I think too much about family size with my "secular" mind, then I think the quiz is probably correct. I do often feel overwhelmed with six children...especially when it is just me and them (as it's been most of this summer!). It is very difficult for me to take them all out in public (safety/meltdown concerns!), and I am certainly not the patient, easygoing person that I'd like to be. I encounter people pretty much every day who think that I'm nuts.

Three would probably be a much more manageable number for me at any given moment. Ouch!

But, if I consider it prayerfully, I realize that six (or God willing, more) is just right. When I ask Mary for help (through my daily Rosary), I always receive the abundant graces that I need. When I pray for the intercession of my children's patron saints and guardian angels, I often find reserves of peace, love, patience, and joy that were absent moments earlier.

It is still hard to have six children. It is not always comfortable and rarely convenient, and it requires loads of sacrifice. But, God's will for our family is good and right. This is my path to heaven (too bad there isn't a Facebook test to see whether people are on the path to heaven!), and I am extraordinarily grateful. A bonus is that I get a foretaste of heaven every day when all these little people affectionately hug and kiss me.

And did I mention that our crazy house is bursting with love and laughter at any given moment? There wasn't a question about that!

Ahh...a little perspective made me feel better. And sharing the results has made for some good laughs...especially with the friend who sent me the quiz!

Now if you'll excuse me, I must move to India (I couldn't resist taking the "What country should you live in?" quiz either!). :)

Copyright 2014, Trish Bolster