Sitting at the large dining room table in the home of my aunt and uncle on New Years Day was a memory I will always cherish. With three siblings of my own and five cousins, the New Years Day meal was a combination of good food, multiple conversations all at once and the truest form of being part of a family.
I always felt a bit melancholy thinking about the fact that my mother was an only child. She had hinted at the fact that as an only child she felt pressure to always be the good girl and perfect daughter. As I sat at my cousin’s table, hoping someone did not finish their shrimp cocktail and I could acquire it somehow, I felt a sense of joy that we were all so different and each had something to offer.
I have a sister, twelve years my senior and I had (sadly, past tense) two brothers. All were accomplished in their own way. One an artist, another an intellect, one an athlete and another mechanically gifted.
Our parents were small business owners and I am not sure how they managed to raise four children on their meager income. My husband and I also struggled financially in our early years of marriage and I can remember stressing about the finances of raising three children of our own. I think what my grandmother told me once became true. She looked at my swollen belly, my frazzled look, my messy house and simply said, “Babies bring their own money.”
What she meant was that there will always be kind people, family members, church groups, and well-meaning neighbors who can pick up when there is a need. That feeling of hope and support allowed my first born to have a couple of siblings.
I have no regrets of all of the financial hardship of adding to our family. Like my siblings, my own children all brought to our family their own individual strengths, talents and gifts. Having multiple children allowed me to stretch and grow in ways I did not know I was capable of.
Do you have any large families in your circle that may have a need right now? If so, how can you help? Can you be that giver?
Find those extra few dollars and anonymously send a gift card from your local grocery store to a family who would appreciate it. Drop off some lightly used children’s clothing your children no longer need. Shovel that pregnant
Look for ways that you can pay forward some of the kindnesses given to you over the years. Gratitude comes in all forms. Do not do it for acknowledgement or recognition. Do it so that some other generation of siblings will have fond family memories to share.