And love ‘em like crazy!
That is the secret formula to delight, personal growth, love and fun!
I visited a rest home once where I noticed that the oldest ladies carried dolls. I asked the nurse about it, and it is a common thing among elderly women in rest homes. As I spoke with the ladies, do you know what their predominant topic of conversation was? Was it about the sports car they had, or the beauty they once possessed? No. They talked only about their children. Their kids who were now grown and old—grandparents themselves. Nothing in life held as much fascination and joy as raising children.
I agree with them.
When you are young and blessed with the God-given gift of fertility, it may be easy to think of it as a nuisance. But the time is short and before you know it, your opportunity is over. It really only lasts about 15 years into marriage. And then it is gone. What a short window of time we have to create a family and a legacy of love.
While you are in the throes of that time period, it is intense! You live life to its fullest! You work hard and childbearing is definitely the most taxing thing I’ve done, both physically and emotionally. But nothing you could possibly invent, construct, or create could approach the spectacular magnificence of a living being! I was awestruck at every birth, as is every mother. It feels as if angels escort that baby into the world, and linger awhile to enjoy. Birth has been a sacred experience for me.
Don’t forget the “love ‘em like crazy” part of the formula. That is absolutely essential! We see all around us the consequences of casual parenting. A living soul requires daily attention, constant love, continual effort, and time, time, and more time. It actually requires everything you can give.
When a child knows that they are more important to you then anything else in your life, save God and their Daddy, your influence for good over them is enormous. They love you back, want to be like you, adopt your values as their own, and strive to please you. They mimic your behavior, absorb your opinions and when very well-loved, learn to exceed you in goodness.
Isn’t the world too crowded to have a lot of kids? Thanks to a recent and deceptive National Geographic magazine, we are approaching 7 billion inhabitants, and they claim this earth is in for a big shock. Our collective “carbon footprint” is going to overwhelm the planet, and drastically alter our happiness, they say. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that population is actually on the downswing—diminishing—and has dropped steadily since the advent of birth control and anti-life politics. I remember taking a drive from California to Utah during my teenage years, when my school teachers were heavily pushing “zero population growth”. If you have ever made that drive, you know there is almost nobody out there in the west! I felt betrayed by my teacher. There is a huge amount of wide open space in America! I saw no evidence of the overpopulation that I had been taught would strangle our food supply and leave us sorry we’d ever been born.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch the fascinating DVD, Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family, you will be amazed and alarmed. Scientists and demographers present some most disturbing facts that will alter our daily reality as children become rarer and rarer. The birth rate in the USA made a new record in 2011, hitting the lowest point in the century.
How could having children be the formula for happiness? Because family is God’s plan and a full measure of growth, satisfaction, maturity and joy come richly with parenthood.
Having children forces you to do things you never considered before, and introduces you to new areas of interest. I have gone canoeing, made candles, learned to throw pots on the potter’s wheel, put on a book fair, learned to play the violin (and the piano and the recorder), taught dancing, cared for animals, given speeches, attended concerts, learned digital photography, gone to a planetarium and climbed up on the roof to look through a giant telescope at the moon . . . and a million other things—when all I really wanted to do was sit on the couch! How children and their interests have enriched my life!
Parenting makes you opened-minded and up with the times. Any parent knows that if they have a problem with their computer, all they have to do is ask their 9 year old. Time marches on, and we can get set in our ways. Having kids keeps us alive, part of the future, and living in the moment!
If you have recluse tendencies, like I do, having children quite forces you to be social and friendly (absolutely required if you want well-adjusted, happy teenagers). Kids need people. And classes. And dances. And parties. And social gatherings. More than we adults do, I believe. Having children has pushed me beyond my comfort zone. I have opened my house to more parties, classes and socials than I can count. And put on homeschool picnics and field days and campouts and proms and dances and science demonstrations. And directed a co-op school. And so much more! For my kids’ sake. Big personal growth for me.
Early this morning, I drove Louisa (14) to her Bluegrass fiddlin’ class while the sun was just rising. I was in my nightgown with a big wool coat over it. As I watched her get out of the van and walk away, violin case in hand, her golden hair shimmering in the early morning light—my heart sang! I was filled with gratitude to overflowing for the blessing she is in my life, my dear friend, the source of so much laughter and fun. Her achievements make me proud. Her service to me humbles me. Her talents amaze me. Her faith renews my own. She is a good person.
What more could I have possibly wanted from life than this, to see my beloved children, my own teamwork with God and my husband, in all their glory? What more could I have possibly aspired to? Thank you God, for letting me be a mother!
So, that is the secret formula. Be happy!