Editor’s note: Today, we welcome new CatholicMom.com contributor Elena LaVictoire. A mom of six, Elena blogs at My Domestic Church. Please join me in welcoming Elena to the family! LMH
Last week my husband and I celebrated our 33 wedding anniversary. We are certainly at an interesting age. We are now officially and biologically past childbearing, and yet we still have five children at home from age 7 to 19. We have money in the bank, but we are still working hard to keep ahead of the game. We have known wonderful happiness, and we have known devastating grief.
I remember afternoons, not all that long ago when I could enjoy a delicious long nap with my precious baby girl, my youngest child. She would wake to nurse for a bit and then go back to sleep as she snuggled up against my body, sighing peacefully. At the same time I could hear some of my kids outside playing with their friends, while two of the boys battled it out on our old Playstation.
I rarely get a nap now. My “baby” is all over the neighborhood playing with her friends. I have to check on her to make sure she is not roller blading, scooting or biking down the middle of the street. My oldest daughter is baking and decorating cakes for fun, the older teens are practicing for a real gig with their little rock band, while my youngest son talks philosophy and politics, at least on the high school level with some of his friends.
It’s very different than just a few years ago…yet I am enjoying it very much.
When I look at these little children, I can often hear the voice of the late great John Paul II in my head saying, ”Be Not Afraid!” Amen to that Holy Father!!
If I had been afraid to have this family because of money, or childbirth, or health or fear of the future in general, I wouldn’t have my strong and brave adult son serving his community as an EMT and studying to become a paramedic. I wouldn’t have had the privilege of watching him grow and mature in ways that have just astounded me. Or if I had stopped after him, I wouldn’t have the sensitive and charming Sam, or Gabe with his dancing eyes and tender heart. It has been such a blessing to me to watch these two boys become best friends and to choose each other’s company. Left to their own devices they started writing and performing their own music – something I never would have predicted they would do even a few years ago.
Certainly if I had quit having children after three boys in a row, I most certainly wouldn’t have the quick witted and delightful Noah with his many observations about the world around him.
Common sense would have told me to stop after 4 boys – in which case I wouldn’t have my beautiful and kind Izzy, nor would I have had a chance to see the beautiful art she is capable of both on paper and in baked goods!
If I had been really smart I would have stopped after having my angel Raphael and giving him right back to God – but then I wouldn’t have his dark eyed beautiful baby sister Rosie! I was told that people are afraid of having babies in their late 40s, but she has certainly been a joy to us – the exclamation point on our family.
I may be nuts, but I wasn’t afraid!!
All I know for certain are the childbearing years don’t last forever, the kids don’t stay children forever, and there are no guarantees in this life other than living and dying. I’m glad I didn’t spend ALL of that time worrying about trying to NOT HAVE CHILDREN and that I just had them. And I’m still not afraid.