The home that we decided that we had outgrown was previously occupied by a family of eight. When we were shopping around and toured that first home, I remember being utterly shocked that the beautiful, willowy woman in front of me had birthed six children. Then I was baffled at how they could fit comfortably into the lovely, but cozy 1080 square foot home before us. Four boys shared one upstairs bedroom, two girls the other, and the parents slept in the lovely master suite on the first floor. It was an amazing house with a great yard. And they were a great family.
I made all of the standard big family comments, I'm sure. Most notably, I remember saying, "Wow, you guys really stay busy," while I was standing in her front yard during the home inspection. I didn't mean it in an inappropriate way (though people do sometimes), but I didn't know any better. She was gracious and shrugged it off. I was 19, super pregnant, and it was like 95 degrees outside in the middle of August. I'm sure I could have said worse.
Fast forward 12 years.
In about five months we will be welcoming our sixth child.
Without a single hesitation, I can say that the most commonly-asked question I get is, "Where are you going to put them all?"
My answer? I'm sure we'll figure something out.
Last fall we spent nearly four weeks on the road hotel-hopping as a family of seven. If we can live contentedly in hotel rooms and suites, we can probably find a place for each of our kids to safely and comfortably rest their heads in our home. I think what we fail to realize is that our kids are not going to perish if they have to share space. We live in a four bedroom house. Sometimes, it feels too big. What happens when everyone has their own corner to go to? All too often, everyone retreats to their own corner. I think the family only grows closer when you have no choice but to breathe the same air.
For those who are wondering, Ben (the eleven year old) currently sleeps in his own bedroom on the bottom bunk of twin bunk beds. Abby and Sarah share a room with a double-on-the-bottom/twin-on-the-top bunk beds. Leah sleeps on our old queen sized bed in the nursery. And Noah sleeps in a crib in our computer room (and he's never complained about that one single time). At least, these are the alleged room assignments. Usually, all three girls end up sharing one of their three beds. When the new baby comes, I suspect he or she will room in with us for several months while we transition the three girls to sharing a room and move Noah to a big-kid bed in the nursery. Then the new baby will graduate to the crib in the computer room (and I doubt he or she will complain either). I've never tried to room-share with a toddler and a baby. It could be a possibility, but since we don't have to, I tend to rule it out.
I'm sharing this because it seems important for people to know. It's not a plan set in stone, because it's not something that I spend too much time worrying about.
Can I tell you why?
Because if I stop to think about it for 2 minutes and 4 seconds from a greater perspective than through my American-colored glasses, I see that I have much to be thankful for. We lack for nothing. My kids have a roof over their head, food to eat, and each other to lean on. They are safe. They have a twinkle in their eye. They have people who pour Jesus into their lives. They exude joy. They are perfectly imperfect. And for all of these reasons, I don't worry for a second about where we'll put them all.
I wish you wouldn't either.