There are definitely times as the mother of 5 (almost 6!) young children when I feel like somehow we are doing our kids a disservice by raising them in such a large family.
Most days I know it's all a good, beautiful thing. Most days (almost all days, really) I delight in watching them grow, learn and love together. I know that though they give up a few things, they gain so much that it's all the right thing. And besides all that, it's all been God's plan and not mine, so I know it can't be wrong. But when wading knee deep through the culture around us (no matter how hard I try to avoid it altogether) I do still see all of the smaller families and hear about all the one-on-one activities they do, and the opportunities available to children with only one or two siblings - and I have my moments of guilt. Not doubt so much, just guilt that our children will someday feel they missed out on something due to the big family.
But today I was delighted by a glaring reminder that for all they may be missing out on, our children really are gaining so much by being raised in and among so many other blessings.
This afternoon was Finny's 7 year well child check. And since I had so many questions regarding his allergy and sensory issues, and since my sweet Hubby was working from home and was available, I was able to take him alone to his appointment.
The appointment itself was mostly uneventful. Finny's still 50% on weight and 75% on height - same as always practically since birth. He's still got some issues with skin and behavior, but no real answers. Food stuff might help out a bit, but no magic cures there. His last remaining ear tube is concerning so I should call his ear, nose and throat specialist to see about surgery to have it removed. Nothing huge or shocking - all things I expected to hear.
But as part of the appointment with older children the doctors like to ask them a few thoughtful questions, I suppose to gauge their development intellectually and socially. The first two were fun to listen to Finny's answers - about what he was good at and what he was not so good at. But I was surprised by the third question, and delighted by Finny's answer.
Doc: "Finny, if you could have one wish, and you could ask for anything in the world - what would you wish for?"
(I sat there a little surprised myself and quite curious as to what his response would be - a new bike? A pool? A puppy? To end his allergy diet and eat anything he wanted? I waited with baited breath to hear, but I didn't have to wait long, as he answered without hesitation)
Finny: "A baby sister. 'Cuz I only have one sister."
Seriously. Of all the things in the whole wide world he could ask for - he asks for a baby sister. How sweet is that!?
So apparently at least one of my elder children is not too terribly put-out by the addition of a new sibling every year or two. I guess God knew just what He was doing after all when He planned our family out. Which I already knew, of course. ;o)
(and I'm pretty sure Finny will be delighted if it's a new brother on the way, too... though maybe that wish will become a fervent prayer at that point. Who knows?)