This is the topic on my mind at this time. These are the thoughts that are spinning through my head.
A big family. The idea of it is so tantalizing; so exciting. I dream of it. I wish I can just have it in my grasp already. How I long for a million children. The long range vision is of a dynasty. A picture perfect scene. A HUGE family! And not just QUANTITY but also QUALITY. I picture in my mind's eye each child. So loved. So cared for. So independent. So smart. So content. So beautiful. So perfect.
I wake up into MY reality.
Now, I'm starting to see the picture become a bit more hazy.....
Don't get me wrong - it still looks beautiful.
But now, as I become more present to MY life, I'm starting to notice those fine tune details. I look deeper into the picture and notice each child's face. I look intently at each of their eyes. And I my mind starts to race. I have so many conflicting thoughts. Some of these children look rather - umm - neglected. Some really look unsettled. And yet some look so perfect that if I would touch them they wouldn't feel it. As if life is all but a play and they are just on stage acting their parts.
I sometimes feel that having a big family is all about systems that are in place. The kids wake up in the morning and do their morning routine. They go to school and do the day's schedule. Then they come home and they play outside for x amount of time. Then supper, then bedtime....
Shopping is another system, summers are a different system. Then we have the system of supper menus and the system of clothing shopping and the system of Yomim Tovim....
Because really, the only way to run a big family is if these systems are in place. It really is THE ONLY way to run a functional home of this size.
Then I start to wonder......
What becomes of all the RELATIONSHIPS in the home? What happens to any of the emotions? Where is there room for any of these? Because feelings and people can't really run like a machine. People have thoughts and feelings that may not always be so consistent.
What if one of the 3 year old girls throws a tantrum one day? Then what? She just threw the whole family off. (Unless there's a system for how to deal with tantrums.)
And what if the 7 year old wants to have a playdate one day after school? (There's got to be a system in place in regard to friends.)
And what if, the mother, happened to have been up with one of the kids the night before, and dinner is not ready when the kids are home from school? (It's chicken nuggets and French fries for dinner.)
And now let's take it a step further.
What if one child wants to talk to the parent for longer then the allotted 5 minutes? Or play in the playground for 10 minutes more than their share? Or there is an ongoing fight between 2 of the siblings and the parent's are too busy to meddle. And I haven't even mentioned the financial means or the marital emotions involved - which may/may not be part of the picture.
Of course, we cannot forget that there's laughter and friendship and happiness and good will just by virtue of having so many people live under one roof. There's so many social nuances that are picked up on because they can practice it on so many people. There's also that sense of responsibility that comes with living in a big family.
Let's look at the other side. A small family. Where kids are given the undivided attention, security and love. Systems are not in place like they are in a larger family. Money is not that much of an issue because there's more to go around. There's more flexibility in the home and therefore the schedule does not have to be so rigid. Emotions become a bigger focus in the home because there's more time to dwell on it. Responsibility may not be the top of the list in the home because there may not be a high need for that. Dinner time can be more of a flexible and spontaneous affair...... I'm sure you get the gist.
And then I wonder......
What is it that we are in this world for? Who really has a perfect home? Who is the family that has made the right decisions at every step of the way? If you've found them - please send them to me! I've yet to meet those people that have never made a mistake.
Are we really able to grasp the long range of these decisions in our lives? Do we really know who is better off in the long run? Are we able to see a few generations down the line what impact our decisions have made upon our children? We don't really know who is better off in the long run. We don't really know what our capabilities actually are.
WE HAVE NO IDEA OF THE POTENTIAL THAT LAYS INSIDE OF US AND WHAT NEEDS TO COME OUT IN OUR LIFE.
We really don't know. We don't know if we should be having a million kids. We don't know if we should only have a few. We don't know if we raised our children in a way that was harmful to them. We don't know if we hit the jackpot with our children. We don't know if we were successful. We don't know if we've failed. We don't know if we should come down hard and strong in our children's lives or if we should just let them be.
We really don't know.
You know, I love these parenting classes nowadays. They make it sound so simple. ALL you have to do is x, y, & z and then you're all set for life.
I'm a firm believer that there is a black and white in this world. And there is a black and white for parenting.
But YOUR black and white is not MY black and white. And YOUR children are not MINE. Your point of struggle is not my point of struggle and your mission in this world is not mine!
The only one who has the black and white script for me is G-D. NOBODY else!
Not my parent's, not my teachers, not my friends, not my neighbors, not my sisters, not my brothers, not twitter, not instagram, not google, not the president, and believe it or not; not even my spouse!
AND THE WAY G-D WILL MANIFEST HIMSELF TO ME WILL BE THROUH MY THOUGHTS.
We all have the answers within ourselves to navigate the path in our lives. We all have thoughts and emotions that spin through our heads. And we ALL have the answers from deep within. We just have to begin to listen from inside.
Part of being human means having a part of us that has the ability to choose right from wrong. And the more we triumph over our struggles - the clearer the voice inside becomes.
THE AMOUNT OF CHILDREN THAT WE END UP HAVING IN OUR LIVES IS REALLY GOING TO BE A MANIFESTATION OF THE CHOICES THAT WE MAKE IN OUR MINDS OVER THE YEARS.
Some people have told me that growing up in a big family has only given them joyful memories and positive tools for their lives. Some people have told me that growing up in a big family was very hard for them and they become who they became in spite of their struggles. Some people lament over the loneliness that comes from growing up in a smaller family or of the lack of responsibility that they had. Others from smaller families are very content with their lot and couldn't imagine things any other way.
There's no right or wrong. There's pros and cons to both in the global spectrum of it all.
But there is one thing that is very clear to me throughout this whole thought process.
And that is: the people that allow G-D into their decisions - and when I say allow Him in - I mean TOTALLY OPEN AND WILLING TO DO WHATEVER He deems fit - They ALWAYS come out at the top! You see it very tangibly in their children. You see it very tangibly in them. Their purity and value are written all over their faces. They radiate like a moon amidst the dark sky. It's subtle. It's quiet. But when you're eyes are looking they are there. They are true soldiers of G-D.
It's only when we turn our thoughts off through the process and thereby leave G-D out of the picture that will be the question at hand. Whatever happens as a result of our thoughts will be G-D's message to us in the path that we need to go. We can chose to go through the process on our own, or we can chose to allow a much greater force to direct us.