Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What's it worth?

My grandma, aka "Ma-mah" (referring to her 11 children), once said: "You couldn't pay me a million dollars to take one of mine, but I wouldn't give a nickel for another one."

Having 11 kids is just mind boggling. It's just such a huge number that it defies understanding. Frankly, the number 5 is gigantic to me tonight--especially in light of Anda's latest blog. 5 kids. 5 mouths to feed (how many gallons of milk every week?). Clothes to find, wash, buy, store and match. That's a lot of love getting expressed in a batch of laundry being washed, dried, folded and put away! Just for the record, I believe that those kids are blessed to have Randy & Anda as parents.

What kind of person would I be as a father of five kids? Would I go insane or become much more dependent on God? What would have to change in order to survive? After having 3 kids, is having 4 that much more difficult? I just don’t know. My family is a 3 kid kind of family. I'm child #3. My sister has 3 boys. My brother has 3 girls. When you vote, there's never a tie. 3 works for me.

But what would I be missing? Recently, the number 4 has come to mean a lot more than it use to for me. A camp I love called YouthWAVE promotes this number on its T-shirts as a reminder to pray for “4 friends” that you want to influence for Christ. 4, in many ways is not just cool – but it means something profound too.

Beyond the number 4, is it possible for a large family –so big that it can’t fit in a house at thanksgiving—to really know each other? How can you possibly get to know a family so big? If you didn’t show up for a holiday gathering, would you be missed?

The answer is an emphatic, “Yes!” You would be missed, and you would miss them.

I am blessed to know my aunts and uncles Wall pretty well. Every year at Thanksgiving my extended family comes over to our house. Sometimes we had 50 folks. A couple of years we had over 100--talk about wall-to-wall-Wall's!

But this year I missed being with my family for the first time since I've been married. I missed the whole big gang -- but especially seeing my immediate family. I missed my Aunt Lola’s rolls and my aunt Lois’s chocolate pies (she’s 93 but got up early that morning to make them so they would be fresh!). I missed my mom’s warm, cheerful presence. I missed my dad’s prayer for the food. I missed harassing my brother and hugging my sister. I missed my “Ma-mah” too.

So here’s my rambling attempt to say thank Lord for my big fat American/Greek family—I wouldn’t have it any other way. -- bw

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