Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/chris/public_html/wp-includes/version.php:10) in /home/chris/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 119

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/chris/public_html/wp-includes/version.php:10) in /home/chris/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-automatic-upgrade/wordpress-automatic-upgrade.php on line 119
“You have how many kids?”

“You have how many kids?”

January 10, 2007

“Seven.”

“Wow, how can you possibly love that many?”

“I don’t. I just fake it.”

*****

This has to rank up there as one of the oddest exchanges I have had. As if love is somehow finite and can be used up. Ooops, sorry children numbers 5 through 7 my capacity for love has reached it’s maximum. Too bad for you!

I have a had quite a few people ask me why I don’t write about my older children as much as I do the younger ones. I suppose if you don’t know me personally it gives the impression that I don’t care about them as much, or that I don’t have as loving thoughts about them (Some of them are approaching teenagerhood, if I let them live that long.) The reality is that my oldest ones have reached an age where I feel protective of their privacy.

They don’t color on walls, strip off their clothes and run around the house naked. They don’t look really cute with food smeared all over their faces. They have thoughts that are all their own and I feel privileged that they share them with me. They also don’t change much month to month.

I would never want to embarass them by writing things about them publicly. I do write them letters on the their birthdays and I write things that I want to remember, but are not neccessarily for public consumption. Those things I chose not to publish. Like the 3400 photos I took of all my children last year, really you should thank me.

It is a balancing act.

The letter I wrote to my oldest son on his twelfth birthday should be my next post I have published over at dotmoms. I haven’t written over there in several months, having taken a bit of a break. But when it comes up I’ll let you know.

Rest assured all my children are well loved, cherished, and special to me as individuals. And they are all funny as hell. I am lucky. More lucky than I truly deserve.

Posted by Chris @ 4:46 pm  

RSS feed for comments on this post.

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:
http://www.notesfromthetrenches.com/2007/01/10/you-have-how-many-kids/trackback/


Comments

  1. Maddy says:

    For goodness sake, why do people ask such rude questions. If you didn’t love and enjoy the last you wouldn’t have had the next!

    Letters to your children on their birthday is a brilliant idea.

  2. peepnroosmom says:

    Some people are so rude.
    Of course you love all of your children. I said after Roo was born that my heart multiplied and my brain divided. Ha!

  3. Lilly says:

    I believe you’re absolutely right about protecting your older children’s privacy… but since we’ve all become so fond of your posts about Miles, we’re kind of like ‘web’aunts, can you still post frequent letters and photos about him ’til he’s, say, 35? Maybe you could have a semi-private blog for his fan club when he gets older?

  4. Liz in Australia says:

    Gah. More idiots. But I loved your response!

  5. Rae says:

    Of COURSE that’s why you don’t write about the older kids. It seems so necessary and obvious to me! It’s clear that you have a lot of respect for them. It’s amazing, the love you show for Miles multiplied so many times over- what a lot of love in one house.

  6. Rae says:

    Although, it would be fun to see a “144 things I love about you” at Dotmoms :)

  7. Kathy says:

    I was eight when my sister was born, there were already three children in the family, Carole made four. I asked my mother how she would be able to love so many of us and she explained that the more people you have to love, the more love you have to give. She told me that more than 50 years ago, I have never forgotten it and it is so true.

  8. elizabeth says:

    OF COURSE - people only have enough love for one - two - maybe five kids :P

    I completely understand NOT writing much about older children - my ten year old has asked that I NOT write about him nor show any public pictures. I honor his request - for the most part. Someday - we’ll be asking them NOT to write about us (use us in their comedy act) and hopefully they will follow our example. ;-)

    I WISH I could/do/did (?) have more than I do - someone recently told me that the #3 child makes or breaks the mother… Don’t know what to think of that.

    Love ya!

  9. Jean says:

    Boy, where do you FIND these people that will actually say such things out loud?? I have ten and I love them all ‘to the moon… and back.’

  10. carol says:

    Chris, its not luck it is skills that you have, and yes you do deserve your great kids as much as they deserve you.
    Carol

  11. Ruth H says:

    I wonder if you read the ZITS comic strip? It is so spot on about teenagers and their need for privacy. It’s been a very long time since I had teenagers but I read it online every day cause I get such a kick out of it. And boy children are in most cases, at least in my case, even more concerned about their privacy. I know those kids must do some really funny and sweet things and they would want to KILL if you spread it all over the internet.

  12. Suzy says:

    I was thinking yesterday that I hope that you write birthday letters to all of your kids. And of course you do. It is just that you are such a wonderful writer, that I just know that as they grow up those letters will be a treasure to your children - or fodder to embarrass them in front of potential gf/bf. Win/Win.

  13. Kristie says:

    I’ll be honest, right before I had my second child, I *did* worry that I wouldn’t be able to love as much/enough as I did my first.

    Then, the second was born, and I took one look at his squished up little wrinkly monkey face, I knew I would love, to infinity and back again, as many kids as I was lucky enough to have. :)

  14. Chris says:

    Somebody said that?

    Don’t they realize that you got to be the Queen of lovin in order to have all those kids?

    Sorry, corny joke, but I had to say it.

  15. girlymama says:

    How can you love that many?? That was the only thing they could think of to ask you?

    rude dumb people.

  16. Sarah says:

    I think it’s a testament to your willpower that you don’t carry an anvil around for those questions…
    I’m so glad you write the way you do - it’s why I read every day!

  17. Mary W says:

    My answer would have been , it’s either love or crack.

  18. Suburban Turmoil says:

    I totally get it. I always tell people that for every story I write about my older girls, there are ten just as good or better that I couldn’t tell. :)

  19. nabbalicious says:

    You’re lucky, but they’re lucky, too!

  20. Regina says:

    I never meant to insult you, and I’m sorry I brought it up. I simply was wondering if you did this for all your children, not just Miles. I was never insinuating that you don’t love all your children, I just was curious if you did the same for everyone else.

    I apologize if I hurt your feelings. I didn’t feel that I wrote it in a hateful manner. I enjoy what you do, and was curious to see how you approach it for older children.

    Back off, protection squad. I intended no harm!

  21. Chris says:

    Regina,

    I was not singling you out at all. Nor did I feel insulted by your comment. Several people commented the same thing in my last post. And people have done so before in previous posts. I didn’t think anyone was attacking you either in the comments here, I hope you didn’t feel that way.

    After I had the conversation earlier today with a salesperson I thought about addressing it. I realize I don’t write about my older children as much.

  22. Debbie H says:

    A favorite of mine is “Are they all yours?”..I want to say no, I just found the other three and let them tag along. Good grief, I only have 4 kids, come on. Hang in there and thanks for sharing.

  23. foodmomiac says:

    Oh, you deserve it. Truly.

  24. kelli in the mirror says:

    I think I’ve commented once or twice before, but I’ll delurk again. :)

    I had wondered about your other kids just in terms of how come I only know Miles’ name. I hadn’t thought about the older ones not wanting to be mentioned and of course that makes total sense… I’d love to hear more about the other younger ones that don’t mind yet though. Have you ever said your daughter’s name? I think she’s about my daughter’s age-they do a lot of the same things.

    As for the rude questions… I can’t believe people would actually say that out loud. Good grief.

  25. owlhaven says:

    I also write much less about my older kids…and then more cautiously. I had a post up awhile back for just a few hours about my oldest and a guy…then I pulled it down because even though she said it was ok, I just didn’t want her to ever fear that what she told me ws just blog fodder. it is too precious to have them confide….
    Pity, it was a rather good post…
    MAry, mom to 8, ages 2-18

  26. Brigitte says:

    I’d thought it was obvious - the younger ones are still vulnerable and helpless enough not to be able to defend themselves against becoming blog-fodder. MWAHAHaHahahaaa!

  27. Darren McLikeshimself says:

    Well, you gotta admit that’s an interesting twist on the “You have HOW many children?” question.

  28. Katie says:

    I’ll admit it, I almost love my youngest ones more than the oldest. It’s the whole pre-teen “Mom’s an idiot” attitude versus the cute “Mommy is wonderful” toddler perspective.

    And heck you write about your older ones a bunch come baseball season! (I just signed Zach up for the spring season, help me…)

  29. TB says:

    It just goes to show, people have no sense… knuckleheads. Good for you for keeping your cool. Do people think that once you have more than one or two kids that your capacity to love them diminishes?
    Great post, as always.
    TB

  30. Jennifer says:

    That is wonderful. I think you are doing the exact right thing by filtering what you write. I am already that way with my six year old.

  31. Lisa says:

    Did you read my mind? Because the other day I read the post about Miles at 25 months and thought, “I wonder why she doesn’t write much about her older kids?” (I promise, cross my heart, that I didn’t question your love for them! Or wonder if they’re all yours…or anything weird like that!) And then you answered the question and it makes perfect sense! Now, let me try this: “I wonder if Chris has a million dollars that she’ll give to me?”
    OK, now I’m waiting for my check!)

  32. Christina says:

    I was just thinking this morning how lucky I am to have 3 adorable children who all love me - how can anyone think the love decreases with more kids?? The love just keeps growing and growing over here :) Rude people should be taught a lesson or two in kindness.

  33. Alice H says:

    You’re increasingly putting to rest my fear that if we have another child, we’ll suddenly realize we have too many.

  34. Gretchen says:

    Ah, thanks for the explanation. Really, I was just thinking that kids get super-boring as they age. LOL. Actually, I’ve got a secret or two that I would LOVE to write about but I’ve been sworn to secrecy. It’s just so cute to me, but he’s super sensitive about it.

    As for loving them all, well I *don’t* love them all equally all the time. Obviously I love the ones who kiss up the best more than the ones who are currently annoying me. It’s just that the order of the list constantly changes!

    Gretchen

  35. Keith says:

    My favorite exchange was with a co-worker.
    “Six!?! Jesus Christ God Bless You. Six.”

  36. Susan says:

    How can you possibly love that money?

    My response: How can you possibly be so fucking stupid?

    God, people infuriate me.

    Of course you adore your oldest as much as your youngest!

  37. Susan says:

    Oops, many, not money. Everyone can love money.

    Heh.

  38. Chris says:

    Susan,

    Glad you clarified because I was thinking, “Money? Who doesn’t love money?”

    LOL

  39. Sarah says:

    I manage to just fake it with one. I’m sure faking seven would be a breeze!

  40. Vivian says:

    Your kids are so lucky to have you too. Parents who respect their children should be bowed down to and revered by all. Great post.

    HipWriterMama
    http://www.hipwritermama.blogspot.com

  41. Nicole says:

    Its funny that you did this post because I did actually think in passing as I finished reading your last post that it was odd that you wrote so much about the baby and next nothing about the other children. I think your thoughts on why that is are really good and I agree with everything you said re:privacy and boundaries. All the same, glad that you explained.

  42. Jennifer says:

    It always amazes (and slightly disgusts) me to read about the negative comments you get from people about your family, especially the ones in which people doubt your love for your children. Whenever I meet or hear of parents of a large family, my very first thought is, “Wow. That person must really love children.” That you love them dearly and respect them comes out in every single one of your pictures, and that they are immeasurably happy and lucky to have you and Rob for parents is obvious in the pictures you post. I find that to be especially true when you post pictures of your older boys.

  43. tori says:

    I think people ask such silly questions because they just don’t think about what they are implying. When I went places with my twin babies and my 2 year old, people would say really dumb things. Which baby is “the bad one”, etc. My daughter who was two would constantly ask me what they meant when they said things. When the twins got older, they would answer for me with silly answers “we are both the bad ones”, etc. People would walk away shaking their heads.

  44. Jen Zug says:

    “The reality is that my oldest ones have reached an age where I feel protective of their privacy.”

    This is a good perspective. I write about my children, too, who are ages 4 and 2 (in March), and I’ve wondered if and how long this is appropriate for me to do. Thinking about their privacy as they begin developing their own ideas and preferences (and create a life outside of my home, with school and friends) is a good starting point.

    I’ve also thought that once my oldest begins to read, I will encourage her to start her own blog. Who knows, maybe she write about all the quirky things *I* do as a mother.

  45. Lane says:

    Ha! Here I thought people asked ME stupid questions. Geez! Loved the response…I might have to borrow that one.

  46. Mary Tsao says:

    I still can’t believe you’re old enough to be the mother of an almost twelve-year old.

  47. Jenna says:

    Love is conditional AND finite; that’s what stupid people have taught me! LOL

  48. badgermama says:

    Luckily it’s the same way with polyamory. The more lovers you have, the more fun it is…

    ;-)

  49. CaliforniaGrammy says:

    I can’t imagine my answer if asked that question. It wouldn’t be printable . . . Unconditional love, that’s what having a family is all about! You may not like them at times, but you always love them to bits!

  50. zookeeper says:

    What an idiot that person is. Umm..hello…just look at them! They’re adorable, brilliant and vibrant. How could you not love them all?!

  51. qtpies7 says:

    I have 7 children, too. I actually love all of them. I’ve never gotten that question, but many about my sanity and about my knowledge of what causes them. We’ve decided to humor people, cause insulting back doesn’t work. I’ll be doing my Thursday 13 on comments from people and replies to them over the next two weeks. One comment to Do you know what causes that is “Yes, but we just LOOOOVE pizza!” they either think we’re nuts, or crack up laughing, lol. But really, the nerve of people to ASK if you know about birth control!!!??????
    http://www.qtpies7.blogspot.com

  52. Kristina says:

    I have four children and everywhere I go people say “Are all those kids your’s?”
    First of all - there’s only four!
    Second of all - I want to reply “No…I just bring 4 kids (ages 3-10) to the grocery in the middle of a Saturday afternoon because I was looking for an adventure! I just gathered them up from around the block so I wouldn’t be lonely!”… Of course, you idiot, they are all my kids!

  53. Gina says:

    People look at me like I have a third eye for having THREE. And they don’t hesitate to mention how HARd and STRESSFUL my life is. People with two kids are constantly telling me about how MANY kids I have.

    I don’t think three is much more than two (in fact, it’s just one!) and yes, three is hard because it’s no longer one child per parent, but it’s not THAT bad!

  54. khristalee says:

    I also wrote my daughter a letter on her 1st birthday, (she’s only had 1 so far) and have been thinking about doing it again, and again. I can’t remember where I even got the idea, was it in a movie? a book? But I remember thinking I would’ve liked that. As for my spouse, he still hasn’t even written in her baby book, even after his many deadlines (1st b-day, xmas, and now before the next one is born) so we’ll see. When do you intend on giving them these letters? I was thinking 12, but should I hold onto them longer?