Sunday, May 12, 2013

Is five kids too many?

My biological mom in front, four kids and my Hippie Yippie days

This is about kids, lots of em.  I'm really glad the Duggars came along on TV, if for nothing else, to make me feel better.  I can honestly say I didn't have 19 or 20 of those little bugger Duggars.  Hey, ya get that 'good feeling' where ever you can in this lifetime.

How did I do it?  How did I keep my sanity?  Damned if I know. I guess you can say I raised some free range kids.  I don't recall a whole lot of punishments (although my oldest daughter seems to remember each and every single one of her punishments) but I honestly do not have such a vivid memory as hers.

They all helped, mostly, sometimes, with chores and such.  Speaking of the eldest girl though, I remember she went through a neat freak phase, at 11, again at 19, again at 25 and by 35 I notice it has tapered off a bit.  She used to love cleaning her room, everything in its place, then she would remind me how I needed to crack the whip on the others to clean their rooms.  She found great joy in cleaning the living room and kitchen sometimes too.  She would grab a sponge or dust cloth and shine everything, all the while lecturing us about being pigs that she had to put up with.  I used to laugh and smile and think how the poor other kids were going to be filthy and live in pig sties when they grew up.  I haven't seen any of mine on Hoarders yet, so I guess one person's filth is another person's normal.

I always grew a big vegetable garden and recently my youngest daughter recalled how those fresh vegetables, always tasted so good.  

I wasn't the perfect parent, but guess what, I have met many who were not either.  So as far as being an expert in imperfect parenting, I guess I pretty much was.  Yeah for me!

We didn't have all the video games that so many kids play now, but we did have a kind of Lego logic going on.  I remember my kids talking to Legos, to their favorite dolls and even to toy graders in the dirt.  These days some psychologist would tell me there is something wrong with talking to inanimate objects, but I don't think so.

In the summer, my kids were allowed to be just kids.  No summer camp, no structured junk, just live, use their imaginations and be themselves.  Those were the days.

Now I think about it, maybe I did discipline the kids once in a while.  When my oldest son was in the Army Reserves, he said he was asked by his DI: "Am I being too harsh Kid?"  It was, of course a rhetorical question.  My son told me he replied: "Naw, I have a mom who could put you to shame."  I'm still wondering if that was a good thing or not.  I let it slide since I would never meet that DI in person anyway.  

Happy Mothers Day to one and all!