Friday, June 01, 2007

Numbers Game

I am the mother of four.

I am learning that the more children you have, the more the numbers in your life grow.

Because I am the mother of four, every time we go anywhere I am responsible for clothing five total people. Sometimes I even have to make sure JDub is dressed appropriately before we head out the door.

This means ten socks. Ten shoes. Seldom are they where they should be.

Now, this part HAS gotten easier as my children have become more independent. But any mother knows that just because a child is at the age where he can dress himself doesn't mean that he really always dresses himself. Cries of "Mom, where is my...?" and "Mom, I can't find...!" abound.

This means that I have five mouths to feed on a daily basis. Three meals a day plus snacks in between -- a minimum of 21 meals a day. Oh and there's JDub. I prepare food for him at least once a day.

And buying the food is no picnic either, especially since gas prices put the grocery guys out of business. On Monday, Mashuga, Coco and I went to Target. There we purchased a heaping cart full of food for one week. When we got to the checkout line we found that all of our groceries would not fit back into one cart. So, I managed to get two small children and two full carts out to our car. Then, I loaded approximately 40 bags and other assorted items from the car to the house. I won't even estimate how many individual items I then put away. I'm guessing it is about one hundred.

Having four children means about 12 loads of laundry each week. Or more.

It means that I am responsible for the cleaning and trimming of 100 fingernails and toenails on a weekly basis.

I am the one must try to make sure that approximately 100 teeth get cleaned twice a day. More when Coco actually gets teeth.

That means a minimum of ten dentists appointments per year.

An average of twelve doctor's visits per year.

At least six rolls of toilet paper, seven pull-ups and 30 diapers per week.

It means about 300 minutes spent in the car each week driving to and from a charter school for which I've put in approximately 200 hours of volunteer time in the past year.

But that's not all.

I get and give at least 25 kisses and ten hugs every single day.

I hear "I love you." at least 10 times a day. And I get to say it even more.

I get to see dozens of smiles, kiss countless owies, heal broken hearts every day.

I get to read close to 21 bedtime stories and sing nearly 30 lullabies every week.

It also means that if each of my current children has only two children of their own, I'll have at least 8 grandchildren. And I hear they are worth all the effort.

So, it's not about the numbers, though the numbers are staggering when I think about it.

And I am certainly not complaining about numbers now. I know that, in 20 years, the numbers I'll be measuring are miles between me and each of my children, days I go without kissing them, years since they left home.

So with all of my counting today, I'm trying to mindfully count the most important thingss -- my blessings.


Kris said...

Thank you for that! I think I needed to think about my blessings that I do have and not think of all the things that I need to do.
Thank you.

Derrick said...

Wow, those numbers are quite overwhelming. Good thing we have blessings, because I'd never be able to live if I were to think of my life as a list of responsibilities.

Thanks for the note.