This year I organized about forty helping children--a very big group! They glued, inscribed, and decorated with stickers like professionals, finishing all those cards in two short hours.
|John made a sword pen for his decorating.|
|Mary was found quietly picking flowers on the Poor Clares' lawn.|
Still with some time to use up, we went out for a deli lunch, then went to the priest's blessing of Easter baskets.
|"Mama, it's too bright!"|
|About a dozen families brought beautiful baskets for blessings.|
I knew that managing the making of Easter cards would sap my body's energy pretty much for the day, which is what happened. I'd still have chosen to do it! But it was a race against my back tightening up like a vice and sciatica stabbing more frequently as the hours ticked by, so when we got home, I spent most of the day laying on the couch with the kids watching TV, while Chris went shopping at two grocery stores and made our dinner. (Thank you, honey!) I did not exactly feel like Super Mom, but felt more like a loser (my spiritual failing).
I don't say that to complain but to respond to how some people say only women who have easy pregnancies have big families. "They must have really easy pregnancies." "It must be no big deal for them." "If I had it that easy, I might have more babies too!" But, really, that isn't so. Of the women I know who are open to large families, there is a whole range of easy pregnancies to very hard, including life-threatening ones. For most of us, it falls in the middle range, with a new pregnancy meaning accepting that nearly a year of life will entail noticeable curtailments on all parts of family life with sacrifice coming from all family members chipping in and picking up the slack. There is great spiritual benefit in that: Mama gets to learn humility and that the whole world doesn't revolve around her competence, while Dad and Children get to learn to do a lot of housework and service for the family. These are good things.