I'm sitting with my kids watching the latest installment of American Idol. Jack and Gus are not really watching, but playing at my feet with their Playmobil knights while Becca and Nick share opinions of who is a good enough singer and who is not. It's a harmonious picture and makes me so thankful for such a beautiful family.
I look at my kids and see this harmony between them..tonight..and wonder what it would be like if..if...IF there were another Clemens crying out loud to add to the mix. Am I crazy to even entertain the thought? Especially considering the negativity toward big families in my "open minded" University town. I admit that I shudder at what people would say to me if I were to announce a 5th pregnancy. Some would say that I should not care what others say, but I can't help but care. I mean, some of the most negative comments and surprised faces from my last pregnancy came from CATHOLICS! Not only that, but am I even in my right mind? For instance, the laundry is stacked up for miles, the kids are overdue for their dentist appointments, Jack is wearing the same pants as he did yesterday since we could not find a clean pair, and they had hot dogs for dinner twice last week...what am I thinking? I can barely keep up with the Clemens 4!!!
But on the other hand, the blessings of a child are too numerous to count. Somehow our society has forgotten these blessings and replaced them with the "hassles" of finding babysitters, restaurants where "no children are allowed", and where pets have been elevated to human equals. Don't get me wrong, I am a dog lover to no end, but no animal can ever replace a human being as being more important in my life. Children mold us as as we mold them into disciples. Raising children builds character, stamina, flexibility and unselfishness for those up to the challenge, not to mention the benefits for siblings of big families...the virtues they gain from having to share more, not having everything at their disposal, patience, more responsibilites in the house. Raising healthy kids is not for the weak. It's hard as hell, but in the end, with prayer and fortitude, beautiful people are formed.
So I don't know. The unknown is always scary; responsibility is scary. I wonder what Simon would say about all this? Clemens out!!!