Sunday, May 6, 2007
We are the Walker Family. Doug and Deanne and their 13 children. Yes, I said, okay I typed, 13. "Never a dull moment" is the first cliche that may come to mind. Deanne has been given many accolades by anyone who discovers the number of children we have. I say "discovers" because we don't put that number out there for everyone to hear. While engaged in conversation with others, if the topic of children comes up, we try not to ask other people how many they have. If we do, they will give us the quick answer of 3 or 4 or 5 or whatever.... then shoot back with the same question. When the number 13 comes out it usually causes enlarged eyeballs indicating mild shock in the listener. Or we get, "No, seriously, how many children do you have?" without even the slightest consideration that we told the truth the first time. After a few back and forth exchanges to convince the listener and the belief level rises there is the moment of silence.....then the full shock sets in, "Wow!" Then a complimentary, "You don't look old enough to have that many children!" (They are always directing that comment at Deanne.) I have been labeled as our 1 year old's grandfather on occasion. Deanne likes that little lift for her ego, but still feels sorry for me when it happens. Then all the accolades for Deanne start, "Your wife must be wonder woman!", "She's incredible," "Your wife is a saint!", etc, etc, etc,... A little voice inside of me says," Hey, I'm pretty cool too - I have to have patience for a few hours a day." But that voice is soon silenced by the reminder that I don't appreciate Deanne as much as I should. Outsiders that don't really have a clue about the depth of the challenge this many children presents on a daily basis recognize in an instant the special woman that I married. I am used to her extraordinary talents with raising a family and take it for granted all too often. I then join in the praise and we all stand there looking up at the pedestal we just put her on - and she deserves every minute of it.