We sort of meandered into the large family category. It did not start out as our goal, but one baby at a time, we crawled closer and closer to the far end of normal. Everyone knows what that means, right? The extreme end of normal in our culture is definitely four kids. Two is squarely normal. Three is ambitious, but understandable. And four is the absolute end of the road for normal people. Four is reserved for the "Suzie homemakers" that just really love kids, but it is not a number that will make someone fall off their rocker. However, once you cross over that magic line, you find yourself in a whole new category. After 4, you will be known by the number of off-spring you have produced (or adopted into your brood, as the case may be). People will automatically assign you into categories that you may or may not fit into. You will be assumed to be a Catholic or a fundamentalist, a homeschooler, a wheat-grinding bread-baker, an ultra right-leaning republican, and a type-A personality. My kids took lessons from a lady once,who literally spent a year trying to figure out what box we fit into. She just couldn't believe that we were pretty average people who just happened to have a bunch of kids.
Baby number four was our last, until two of our girls started praying that we would have another. I never pictured us going over the edge of normal. The girls asked us to have another. I said, "Nope. We have enough to handle." "But", I added, "I will do what God wants us to, so feel free to pray." I didn't think much more about it until several months later- surprise! We were in free-fall.
And although I threatened several times during that pregnancy to perform an at-home vasectomy on my sweet hubs, I never did. Nor did we end up feeling convinced after that, that we were done having kids. Perhaps, it was because all of our other kids were in pairs, but there was still a little tiny corner of our heart that was willing to welcome another one. So, once again, we were graced with a sweet surprise.(Recognize a pattern? If you haven't guessed by now- I definitely don't deserve the type-A label.)
So here we are. Two average parents who are totally in love with each other and with their wild tribe of children, living on the outside of normal.