Happy National Sibling’s Day! I love learning about other people’s families…what they look like, how they function, and all the juicy details of their particular unit.

I met a lovely Korean lady a while back who shared that she came from a large family with eleven kids. Her eyes twinkled as she spoke fondly of her upbringing. She told of how her culture, during the time of her childhood, favored sons over daughters, primarily because they were the bread-winners. Her parents kept trying for boys but kept getting girls…

Halfway around the globe and a generation later, this woman and I share so much in common.vvgvlh1d10u-slava-bowman

I am the second child of nine kids. One boy and eight girls. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In a world where big families are becoming a thing of the past, either because we have evolved away from traditional roles, or in general, find ourselves choosing to have smaller families, I feel like I was given a gift not many people get to experience anymore.

If you ask my mom why they chose to have nine kids she’ll tell you, โ€œWell, we wanted twelve…โ€

From the moment they were married, they wanted a lot of kids. And a lot of kids they got… My brother was the first born and only son. Then a whirlwind of estrogen blew through our house and settled in just about every room.

Fitting into a classic stereotype of big families, my parents started each of our names with J. While we tried not to live up to each of the misconceptions of big families, many of them were unavoidable.

We drove a wooden-paneled station wagon, (affectionately named ย ‘The Love Barge’ during our dating years) we were mostly homeschooled, and we ate casseroles just about every night for dinner.matthew-henry-135657

From the outside, I think people assumed this was pretty much all there was to our big family.

Throw in a few other stereotypes (that were untrue) like being in a cult, all sleeping in the same bed, or the mandatory wearing of culottes, and we experienced an interesting array of sympathetic head shakes, eye rolls, and curious, probing questions.

People may have talked a little, but I wouldn’t have traded my family to have taken a childhood trip to Disney each year. Where we might have lacked in luxury, we made up for in lasting love and companionship.

Iโ€™m thankful for those late night conversations, the dance parties to Momโ€™s Elvis records, the swapping of clothes, the singing and instruments, the hiking, the Christmas mornings crowded around the heater, the laughter, the tears, and the good times.

Family is a gift. No matter what the size.ย elijah-henderson-197811.jpg

My prayer as I raise my own children is that I teach them, to esteem family in a high regard. To cherish it and nourish it with great care because whether near or far, we are in it for life.

Happy Siblings Day to my favorite siblings! Love you all!when-big-families-grow-up

What was your family like growing up? How many siblings do you have?

Happy

23 Comments

  1. Reply

    Carmen

    April 10, 2017

    I really enjoyed reading this!! Although I only met you once or twice, I had the privilege of getting to know your parents, brother’s family and your younger sisters. You have a wonderful family!

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      April 10, 2017

      Thank youโค

  2. Reply

    Jackie

    April 10, 2017

    Love this Jessica! I remember many days with your family!

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      April 11, 2017

      Yep! Lots of memories with you too! <3 <3

  3. Reply

    rhythminlife

    April 11, 2017

    Y’all look very much alike. Mostly the eyes. Poor brother stuck at the very front of sisters to torment him. Lol. Thanks for sharing your lovely siblings.

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      April 11, 2017

      lol. The great thing is, he got married and had four girls. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Reply

    Terrigirl2017

    April 11, 2017

    Hi jessica, I didnt know it was siblings day! Obviously neither did mine(siblings), I didn’t get any messages!!! Wow , your brother is so lucky to be amongst so many sisters! That must have been fun and hard for you growing up in such a big family. You are right , Family is a gift, and we will always be part of it. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. I am 2nd , brother 3rd. Like all families there was ups and downs , but in the end love. I have grown closer with my older sister as I got older. Your family is beautiful Jessica, Hugs, Terri xoxo.

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      April 11, 2017

      Aw! Hey, we are both #2! Thats awesome! Thank you:) it was pretty fun growing up. <3

  5. Reply

    Julie Clarkson

    April 11, 2017

    Awh! Now you’ve got me reminiscing! I’ve got the best family ever.โค๏ธ

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      April 13, 2017

      <3 <3 <3

  6. Reply

    Becca

    April 11, 2017

    Family is hard for me. I have four sisters but only two of them speak to me. One disowned me 20 years ago for marrying outside our faith and the other decided three years ago that I’m a terrible witch and she wants nothing to do with me. (However when I ask what I’ve done I’m met with a rather childish, If you don’t know I’m not going to tell you, so I don’t even know what I’ve done or what I’m supposed to apologise for.) If you have loving siblings, appreciate them. Some of us aren’t there and probably never will be.

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      April 13, 2017

      Yes, family can be complicated and its not always wrapped up in a pretty bow. I am truly sorry that yours is a broken part of you. <3 <3

      • Reply

        Becca

        April 14, 2017

        Thank you. It is a broken part of me, but at the same time, I am eternally grateful for the lessons I’ve learned about forgiveness and compassion. I am probably a better person for it, because it has humbled me and smoothed away my rough surfaces. And above all, through this I have come to know on an intimate level that Jesus Christ, my Savior, loves me. That knowledge is more precious than gold.

  7. Reply

    [email protected]

    April 12, 2017

    Fun post! I love learning about other people’s families, too. I only have two siblings, but I’m so grateful to have even had them. Family is great!
    (And I was just listening to a Buddy Holly song with my girls today and thinking about listening to my parents old records with my sister! Fun memories.)

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      April 13, 2017

      Aw:) Thats awesome. We have three kids and I really hope they can be close through adulthood. <3

  8. Reply

    Katherine

    April 13, 2017

    Wow, what a family you have!! Very lucky to have so much love surrounding you. And estrogen, haha! I have one sister, older. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have more siblings…. But could I handle 8?! Your parents must be so happy to have so many grandchildren too, I’m sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      April 13, 2017

      lol, yes, sisters are awesome! Never a dull moment! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚ <3

  9. Reply

    Cheila

    April 13, 2017

    What an amazing post! I only have one sister, she’s 21. Growing up it was just us, no cousins, no neighbors. It could get a little lonely. I know I want a big family. I usually say 4 or 5 and people role their eyes and say that I will change my mind. Barely do they know that in my heart, I would love to go up to 8, I just don’t say it, because I would get judge and called crazy and old fashioned. What an amazing family you have!! xx

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      April 13, 2017

      Thank you! You have as big a family as you want! Size doesnt matter if theres love there. <3

      • Reply

        Cheila

        April 14, 2017

        Couldn’t agree more. You and your sisters look very alike. All gorgeous women. Good genes ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Reply

          inspirethemom

          April 17, 2017

          Aw, thank you! <3

    • Reply

      Becca

      April 14, 2017

      People can be so judgey. As soon as someone gets married it’s all, “When are you going to have a baby?” (Once when my husband’s grandma asked me this I replied, “Do you know how babies are made? That’s disgusting!” She never asked again.) As soon as you have a first baby everyone says, “When are you going to have another?” But the moment you go for #3 people say, “When are you going to stop?” Don’t let people dissuade you! The size of your family is between you and your husband.

      • Reply

        Cheila

        April 14, 2017

        Yes. You are absolutely right. I will have as I want, according to what I can afford and the kind of life I expect to provide for them. But I’m the one making the decision. We all suffer from womb watch. If we have none, they bother us, if you have 10, they bother us just the same.

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