Sometimes I wonder how people with more than 4 kids do it. I mean, I know I’m a RockStar and all with my little entourage, but seriously, am I the only person you know with this many kids? I can’t be. In both my son and daughter’s classes at school, they have at least one classmate who comes from a family of 8. EIGHT. That’s 2 parents and 6 kids. That. Freaks. Me. Out. My own immediate family of 5 was pretty medium sized, maybe large by some’s standards. When my extended family gets together, there is an automatic invite list of 25. That includes great-grandma, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. That does not include my husband’s family, who is a nice round number of 12. I come from a large Irish-Italian family, so it really was no big thang when we announced we would be having a total of 4 children. My in-laws, on the other hand, were a bit anxious to know there would be at least 4 grand-kids from just their oldest son alone. They now have a total of 5 grand-kids, and I think that’s a good number for them. Just the right amount for them to handle. My house is full of all kinds of crazy, and I feel like I should walk around with a disclosure on my shirt stating, “We are happy to be included in your event or be invited to your home. Please know we are loud and bring chaos with us wherever we go. Things may break and people will get annoyed. That’s why we travel with wine and cigars.”
Regardless, there are days like today when I proudly escorted my little entourage through the hotel lobby and allowed passer-bys and looky-loos to compliment us with their stares and comments. I love my little family, and if ever given the chance, I would go back and do it all again. I couldn’t imagine life without any of them. I love the noise and the chaos and ridiculousness of it all. There have been plenty of moments when my husband, God bless him, and I just look at each other and roll our eyes and laugh. What else can we do, but put aside the complete disaster that our house is, recognize we may never sit down together at the same time for a family meal until the twins are 7, and just be OK with flying by the seat of our pants. As much as I try to implement plans and schedules and maintain some sense of organization, I have to allow for disregard to all of the above. Sometimes things just don’t go as planned. And, when that happens, it’s how you determine to handle those moments that define your life.
When Disney invited me to take part of the nation wide trailer debut for the new movie, Delivery Man, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to acknowledge that sometimes the idea of family doesn’t always turn out as expected. This heart warming and light hearted comedy about a man, Vince Vaughn, who discovers he has accidentally fathered 533 children due to a glitch in a sperm donation facility, made me think about the lengths we would go to for our children. How and when, as adults, we learn to take responsibility for our actions, understand that every action has an effect, and know how we are committed to achieving an outcome. Whatever that outcome may be. Several times this past week my kids have assumed I wouldn’t want to do something because it would take me out of my way, or take up too much time, and without thinking responded, “Of course we will make it happen. If this is something that is important to you, we will figure out a way to make it work.” It was then that I realized my development as a parent. Having four children and a spouse certainly pulls me in many different directions on any given day and at any given time. I couldn’t imagine what Vince Vaughn will go through taking on this responsibility as a parent to 533 children! I guess we will just have to tune in to see!