It has been an interesting summer vacation so far. Not only did we find out we will be welcoming another McNugget into the family, we found out we were welcoming 2! This is as exciting as it gets around here, minus the time I thought we had killer bees in the attic. Twins! It’s a shocking thing, for anybody. I’ve discovered that people don’t always know what to say, which is fine since I myself don’t know quite what to even think most of the time.
Here are some of the most common conversation topics I’ve covered with loved ones, friends, and vague acquaintances over the past couple weeks.
•”You know what causes that, right?” –I think the answer to this extremely original question is clear: I know exactly what causes that, and I am obviously more than skilled at it. I don’t know how else to go about answering this question, and if you think the majority of people ask it jokingly or rhetorically, you’d be wrong.
•”Did you mean to have twins? Were you doing any fertility treatments?” –…I just have to smile and shake my head “no”. Because there are way too many of my friends who have sought medical assistance to conceive children, and I would hate to disrespect their journeys by writing this question off as absurd or thoughtless.
•”6 kids is too many.” –this person is right. I wonder what they’d say about seven kids.
•”I think more education and travel would solve your dilemma.” –Rude and hurtful statement made by a childless someone who clearly knows very little about me. Also, my children are not dilemmas. They are awesome and no amount of education or travel will make me change my mind about that.
•”How are you going to afford six kids?” –This is the question of the century and it is actually a very valid one. I don’t have a solid plan on paper yet (other than our detailed, non-negotiable family budget). I imagine I will not be buying anyone the latest iPhone, or IPad or tablet or laptop or PsXBox560D, or sending them all off to multiple sports camps throughout the summer. I hope they’ll survive those hardships because they’ll also have to worry about not getting a brand new Nike wardrobe upon the changing of every season. My hope is that by simply providing a loving home, and meeting their physical needs, and–this is a long shot, but what the hey–connecting with them rather than buying them all the things–they will grow up to be emotionally fulfilled, intelligent, Jesus-loving human beings who contribute positively to society. Fingers crossed.
•”But…Food?” –I know. I know. My kids are half-locust, so the grocery bill is a concern. So, while their friends snarf Sonic and Subway eighty times a week, nutritious home cooked meals is a disadvantage we will all have to live with. I am sad to report that Lunchables have never been a thing in our family and we haven’t starved yet, though my children have had to suffer through life with the brown-bag standard of peanut butter-on whole wheat sandwiches plus an apple for lunch everyday. We got eggs and bananas? We got ourselves breakfast. If we can afford Dr. Pepper and Chips Ahoy, we can afford carrots and broccoli. Plus I make a ridonk spaghetti-and-tomato sauce from scratch.
•”You’re just gonna send them off to fend for themselves after high school? What about college? It’s expensive!”: —I hear you amigo. Community Colleges, scholarships, and student loans exist for a reason; I know this because Caleb and I had the exquisite privilege of paying for our own continuing education, and we are better for the hard work we put in. They are welcome and encouraged to live at home to save money while they work and go to school. Of course, we want to help a little when we can, but that help will not come in the form of a free ride. Ever.
•”What about the baby stuff?”: –Poor Lucy never even had a stroller that went with her infant carrier. I can’t speak of it without tearing up. I’m just kidding, she was carried everywhere and she loves her life and so does everyone else. Breastfeeding is free and super fun. Ditto for cloth diapering and hand-me-downs. The crib she sleeps in is the same crib Cheyenne, Mia Merrick, and Arbor slept in: bought at a garage sale in 1996 for $50. Talk about bang for your buck! I hope this deprived babyhood didn’t make any of them feel feel neglected or unloved.
•”Hey Toni, I’m just concerned about your health. Pregnancy has not traditionally been easy on your body.” –YOU, my friend, are an absolute gem and I love you. This is quite possibly the only concern that needs to be voiced as far as adding to my family goes; and I appreciate the fact that you care enough to bring it up. Pregnancy has sucked in the past. I wasn’t sure I was up for it one more time around…and yet here we are, entering the second trimester without so much as one visit to the ER; I only just two weeks ago saw my own regular doctor for pregnancy stuff for the very first time. I consider this a blessing and there isn’t one day that goes by that I’m not thankful in the depths of my heart for the miracles in my belly, and for the physical ease of carrying those lives. God be praised.
•”Twins! What are you gonna name them?” –I mean, yeah it’s still pretty early on in the game to assume I’ve got anything nailed down yet. And since I’m petty, I just don’t share names this soon. Let me just say that our boy choices have always tended to lean toward the vaguely Scottish with a hint of Science-fiction/Fantasy; our taste in girls’ names are literally all over the board, but default to old-fashioned, obscure spiritual hippy.
Well, that’s the pregnancy update for week 12-13 (I left the doctor’s office in such a daze that I forgot to ask when my actual due date was.)