Country Living Series

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Large families ROCK

We have some friends with six children ranging in age from nine months to 14 years. A couple of weeks ago, we had them over for dinner.

Whenever we invite them, we make sure to pull downstairs all the toys we feel would be used -- train tracks, Lincoln logs, Hotwheel cars, some stuffed animals, Polly Pockets, blocks... (We left the box of Legos upstairs since the baby is still in the stage of putting things in his mouth.)

Then when the kids arrive, things explode all over the floor. It's a chaos of toys. It's loads of fun.

Older Daughter, as our nanny-in-training, has a special touch with these kids.

I love having the house full of young children again. There's something so vital and alive about a house full of kids.

In the case of this particular family, Don and the father get along like a house on fire, and the mother and I are extremely good friends. While dinner can never be "sit down" (too many interruptions from excited young kids more interested in playing than eating), the children are so well-behaved that meltdowns or temper tantrums don't happen. (At least, when visiting us. I'm sure they occasionally happen at their home.)

And there's something special and wonderful about large families. We live in an area where large families are very common -- I know quite a few with ten, eleven, or twelve children. Almost invariably, such families are close-knit, beautifully behaved, delightful to have visit, and full of love, joy, and activity. Since space if limited, kids learn to share rooms, toys, and time with siblings, which create close-knit bonds. It's a wonderful thing to see.

Don and I are at the age where our girls will soon be leaving home. When they get married and grandchildren begin arriving, there's no guarantee we'll be in close proximity. Therefore we'll enjoy our time with children when and where we can.


  1. This is what IT /LIFE is about, it is not that next thing you can buy/ It is sharing these experiences with friends and families . These are more precious than gold.

  2. I find this post comforting and reassuring.

    A. McSp

  3. Sounds like my house.. i have 6 children ages 26-5yrs..and 4 grandchildren..i have grandchildren the same age as my youngest 2 little ones..its so amazing..and a bit confusing as when someone shouts "MUM" daughters and myself turn around together..i love it and hate a quiet house..
    My life is full of children and laughter and toys all over..but worth it..

  4. My parents both came from families with nine children. I had five sisters to pester me when I was growing up. (I pestered them back pretty good, too!) My wife and I had three girls. They were all very large babies at births, ranging from nine pounds to over ten pounds! After three, my wife said "enough!" All our girls are gone now. We really miss them around here! mjrb is right, they are more precious than gold. Grandkids, too! --Fred in AZ

  5. We have 4 kids ranging in age from 27 to 22 and we adopted a 6 year old from China in June. People, especially family,think we are crazy. We missed the pitter pater of those little feet and the noise and chaos and the fun. We hope to be able to adopt from the US the next time around and add to our brood again.

  6. Such a Homely House!

    We are in a big city, and people started calling our family a horde when we only had three children.

  7. It's so funny - I have a lot of contacts/do a lot of reading from political progressives. They talk a lot about creating community, protecting the disadvantaged, and all sorts of ideas of how society should be. Yet most of the folks I hear talk that way, never experienced a real, loving, age-diverse, multigenerational family where the elders do learn to give and protect the smaller and weaker ones, and the young learn to respect and help the elderly.

  8. Amen to large families!