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.