The sound was deafening in the Happy Joe's party room. Twelve
children ranging in age from just over one to a college freshman were
taking turns sitting on a game-ticket-purchased whoopee cushion and
howling with laughter. We'd just come off an hour of bumper bowling,
and the kids could barely contain themselves after being stuffed for
two days straight with myriad cookies and other sweets while taking over a three-bedroom condo also occupied by 14 adults.
As I passed my one of my seven brothers-in-law to refill my large soda, he gestured
to the kids chanting each other's names as they passed the whoopee
"Just think, Rita," he said, laughing, "If you were the Duggars, all these kids would be seven short of your nuclear family."
I looked back at the trashed party room, the piles of plastic crap,
the discarded utensils and wadded up, pizza-sauced napkins, and imagined
my life if I had 19 kids.
Then I laughed my mother-of-an-only-child-for-sanity-purposes ass off and went to refill my glass, knowing I'd made the right choice for me.
More power to you, huge families. I enjoyed my huge extended family this weekend. I adore every one of them, and when I hugged all my nieces and nephews goodbye, I almost felt like crying, I love them so much. But now, back at home, I treasure the quiet and the calm. I am lucky, lucky, lucky to have access to both worlds.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Here's hoping you had a lovely time with your families and your digestive tracts recover nicely.
Last night I got all wound over Lynn Harris' article on Salon, which I'm covering on BlogHer on Monday. I started the post fifteen different ways, and no matter how I proceeded, I found myself on my high horse and riding. Standing on my soapbox and preaching, like the homeless guy who spouted whoremongers and hellfire on the Pentacrest at the University of Iowa in the mid-nineties.
It's something I sometimes do. I preach. I can't stand to see people treat each other with such disrespect. This isn't satire, this isn't comedy -- those comments are just MEAN.
I'll be offline for a few days to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. Please check out my piece on BlogHer on Monday, and enjoy your holiday. Go forth and let thee not be an ass.