(This series of blog posts is excerpted from Sarah’s book, Windows to Our World: Sarah’s Journal – Growing Up, Crossing Oceans, Finding Love & Giving Life to 10 Children)
“You look about ready to pop! When are you due?” a stranger asked me one day in the checkout aisle of the supermarket near our home in Fortville.
“Oh, last Saturday,” I said, smiling.
Her eyes got big, her mouth dropped open, and she didn’t know quite what to say. I could tell she was afraid that my water would break any second and the baby would drop out, right in front of her.
“Don’t worry,” I replied. “My last three were over a week late.”
“Uhhh, how many more do you have?” she asked, her eyes still big.
“This will be number six.”
“So . . . and then are you done?” she asked.
I smiled. “On no, we are just getting started!” I joked.
She laughed, but a concerned look remained on her face.
“How many do you want?” she asked, as if I were collecting snakes. It’s funny the things complete strangers want to know right there in the grocery store.
“We’d like to have as many as we can get,” I replied, as if I were collecting treasures.
“Goodness! I have two, and they drive me crazy!” she said. “Two is enough for me!”
“The first two were a challenge for me, too,” I agreed. “With the first couple, you are getting all your practice. You are learning to be a parent, and every phase is new. But just like anything else, the more experience you have the easier it gets. I think it’s sad that so many people stop at one or two. I’ve been able to enjoy my last three so much. I have all the joy of parenting, and not as much of the stress. And now that my oldest children are big, I’ve got some wonderful helpers. I think that many people imagine that having six kids is like having six two-year-olds all at once.”
“You look too young to have so many,” she said.
“Well they keep me in shape. I don’t have time to sit around eating Twinkies and watching soaps,” I said.
“So how old are they?” she asked.
“My oldest, Isaac, is seven. Anna is six. Estera is five. Rachel is three, and Naomi is one and a half,” I told her, as if rehearsing a poem.
“I bet you are hoping for a boy this time!” she said, keeping a tally of girls versus boys.
“Isaac would love to have a little brother, but I don’t mind having a house full of little girls! So I’ll be happy no matter what I get.”
“Just wait until they are teenagers!” she said.
“I’m really looking forward to that!” I told her. And once again, her eyes got big, her mouth dropped open, and she didn’t know quite what to say.
“I had wonderful teenage years!” I continued. “I think my kids will too. Those were the most fun years of my childhood— camping with my family, learning to sew, starting a business, making Thanksgiving dinner, falling in love with my husband . . .”
“Teens are so troubled and sassy these days!” she said. “I guess there’s not much you can do about that.” (click here to continue reading)