Guest Post #2: The Dozen
By popular demand, I have decided to elaborate on my life as one-fourteenth of a family. I have always thought of myself as lucky (and sometimes thought my parents were crazy) but when I was younger, I always wanted to be an only child. This was due to the fact that throughout my tenure, I have either been a punching bag, a human crash test dummy, a moving target or sometimes just plain forgotten.

The moving target was my specialty. When I was about six years old, I was ready for any attention that would come my way. It often came in the form of a game where I would run across our 20-foot living room with my older brothers throwing pillows at my feet. It’s all fun and games until someone gets knocked out, and I did. One good swing by sibling #3 and down I went. After that, the game never reared its ugly face again. I wonder why.

When it snowed out, being a human crash test dummy was also something we all enjoyed. The main objective of a human crash test dummy was to make it from one end of our sloped property to the other on a sled without hitting a tree. We all hit that supreme goal in our lives and would not have substituted that feeling of accomplishment for anything.

Being a part of a large family also tags you with a number and sometimes people forget about #9 (me). If I remember correctly, I think that I have been left at church at least four times. I guess I am like a jacket or gloves. There are plenty others around the house so no one will know I am missing. Unless, of course, they needed me for something. At that point, they would head back to church and pick me up. I guess it wasn’t all that bad to be left at a venue like church. Poor #10 was once left at a gas station (not for long enough for him to even really notice though).

Saturday morning cleaning is deserving of a paragraph all its own. It would start at 8:00 a.m. without fail for the better part of my life. We would either receive cards with chores on them or we would all work together until it was finished. Our 12-person cleaning army usually didn’t finish until mid-afternoon, so we had to make sure if we wanted to do anything that it had to be scheduled around our cleaning frenzy. I think that is why I loved sports so much -- it got me out of a lot of Saturday morning cleanings.

Another quirk of being part of a 14-person entourage is our eating speed. To have a chance at seconds, you had to be pretty nimble with a fork and to this day I still shovel it in with reckless abandon.

One of my favorite memories of being a child was being wedged into a six-passenger station wagon with 13 of my favorite people in the world on vacation. Some people’s dads are great at packing luggage into a car, but my dad was great at packing kids into a station wagon. We were also creatively packed into a two-bedroom condo that my grandparents owned. Even though we were crammed sardines, we had a fun time and it allows us to appreciate what we have now. Namely, breathing room.

Although being a part of a large family can be tough, it has given me a lot of great experiences. To be an only child would have been boring and eventless. All the memories I have as a child involve my big crazy family.


Blogger Isabel said...

I agree...being an only child would have been boring.

And I love the family pic of you guys on vacation.

Let's hear more!

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