I think when people hear you are one of six children, they imagine this sort of child brawls, tears, lack of attention. Probably not this:
Maybe being neglected happens. But I think that any given childhood will have tears, child brawls, and moments where mommy hides on the stairs eating chocolate while the kids run a-muck. No family is perfect all the time.
Regardless–when I look back on my childhood, it’s with fondness. My childhood was great fun. Because it was so much fun (a lot of the time), I always wanted a passel of children. And because of my situation–being one of six–regardless of our relationship, I have 5 defenders who love me, understand me, and would do nearly anything for me.
Each of us can look back on our Christmases, Halloweens, Saturday mornings with donuts and sugar cereal, listening to our mom tell family stories, having giant breakfasts whipped up by our Dad, and our memories are colored by being part of that passel of children. And we were a passel of children who loved each other–though we probably wouldn’t have said it very often.
I have the extra special luck of having a sister who has always been my friend. We never fought over clothes; I never left her behind bemoaning my tag-a-long little sister. I remember reading to her when we were little. On on Christmas Eve, we would sleep together whispering in the dark about Santa, what the other was getting for Christmas and saying something like, “I’ll tell you what you got, if you tell me what I got.” We’d jump at every creak in the house hoping it was finally time to open presents, and in the dark, the friendship and love would morph into something so beautiful it makes me sad that isn’t where I’ll be this Christmas Eve.
Sure, I’m stupidly excited to see the tots open their princess dolls and zoo. I’m excited to see their faces for the slide. I can’t wait to let FiestyPants have a sucker from her stocking first thing–because it’s Christmas, darn it. And see BoyBlue have more fun with the paper than his presents. Yet, there’s a huge part of me that wants to be 7 again, in the bed we shared only for the holidays, whispering in the dark.