I grew up reciting Psalm 127:3, right along side John 3:16 and the Ten Commandments. From the time I first knew to talk about it, I always said I wanted to have an even dozen kids. I modified that in adulthood to being satisfied with four. Two of each, please. I imagined how it would be... the happy chaos, the laughter, the family adventures, instant community--just add water and stir... I was full of careless arrogance towards women who had small families, assuming selfishness or mis-placed priorities on their part. It was Us and Them, and I was glad to be in the Us Club.
Fast-forward 20-odd years and I'm having this conversation with a woman visiting our church:
Her: Oh we're just visiting this morning. We've been member at HBC for a long time, but things are changing there...doctrinal stuff... and there just aren't many large families any more... I have five boys... we home school...
(me; thinking "oh great! A kindred soul! let's get to know each other)
Her: And your kids....?
me: This is Judah, and Sofi's away over there somewhere...
Her: Just the two?
(me; awkwardly realizing that I'm one of those "not many large families anymore" from her old church)
*sound of heart breaking*
Me: mumble, mumble, mumble, fade away....
There's just no way to bring up in casual conversation that I consider myself the mother of three, arguably four, that I love children, that the Lord just had a different plan for our lives than we did, that I would gladly welcome her beautifully rowdy family of young men into my home any time. That I'm not One of Them, despite my regulation two children, one of each, conveniently spaced so as not to have two in diapers at the same time. I'm One of Us. Just... different.