The “Fantastic Four.” That’s what my husband calls our four kids. And I’d have to agree….they are pretty ‘fantastic!’ They are truly a blessing. But it’s appalling to me how some people assume that raising four kids must be more of a ‘curse’ than a blessing. On numerous occasions when I tell people I am the mother of four kids, I am met with the reply, “whoa, you must be so busy” or “wow, I bet your life is chaotic” or even the most shocking reply, “I don’t envy you!” Seriously? You SHOULD envy me a little, and here’s why….
I have had the privilege of seeing the world through not one, but FOUR different pairs of eyes. Every child sees, interprets, and embraces life in a different way. What one child may see as uninteresting or utterly boring, another child may see as amazing, beautiful and terribly exciting. When my kids discover something for the very first time, oftentimes I am discovering it for the first time, too. Each of them has challenged me to open up my eyes and my heart to new experiences or moments that I may have once otherwise passed over and ignored. They have taught me how to be more open-minded to new and different ways of thinking. Every one of them has made me a better person because I have learned how to look at life from four different individual perspectives…and how to be more understanding and accepting of those perspectives.
Yes, if I only had 2 kids instead of 4, my life would be less busy…no doubt about that. I’d have half as many clothes to wash. Half as many mouths to feed. Half as many extracurricular activities to attend (and pay for). And probably twice as much free time. But my life would only be half as fantastic!
"Fantastic" to some may mean having some of the finer things in life--like fancy cars, huge beautiful homes, or amazing trips. But to me, the best things in life are not "things." They are the giant hugs and bedtime kisses....the pride I feel when my son gets a base hit...the excitement I share with my daughter in preparation for her dance recital...and the family games of baseball in our front yard (which, I might add, are a LOT more fun with 6 people!) It's those moments that are fantastic to me. I am not saying that those of you with only one or two or even three kids do NOT have fulfilling lives. What I am saying is that my life is not LESS fulfilling for having more!
Remember how you felt when your son or daughter said, “Momma” for the very first time? Or when she took those first steps? Read his first word? Or hugged you tight on his first day of kindergarten? Those are just a few of the memorable moments that I’ve been blessed to experience not one, but four separate times in my life! And each time was just as special as the one before.
A friend of mine said it best. She has unfortunately also experienced similar rude or negative comments from people when seen in public with her four beautiful children. We were sharing stories, and she said that somebody had actually said to her once: “I’m glad it’s you and not me.” And do you know how she replied???! “So am I.” I love it. Perhaps some people are just not meant to have very many kids…and that’s fine! To each his own. My mom told me once that God only gives you things that He knows you can handle. I think she is right.
And I am so glad that God has chosen me and my husband to take care of these Fantastic Four.