Why I Need All These Kids

So now that Mother's Day is winding down and all the kids are in bed, I can take a minute to consider their usefulness. Their usefulness beyond serving my mother and I and our dates a lovely dinner at Tierney Bistro for Mother's Day, I mean.

My number one goal as a mother is to get my children to heaven, and MY plan is to draft behind them and, Tour de France style, sling shot past them in the final stretch and get there before they do. It's a rough plan, I'll admit, and there are some details still to work out. But that's what I'm figuring on.

And, as in the Tour de France, I think I need all the teammates I can get. God knew what He was doing when He gave me all these kids. I wouldn't have had a chance without them.

For me, I don't think one or two or three would've done it. My self-centeredness was deep-seated enough to withstand even a FEW kids. I still sometimes find myself fighting this life of service. But I can see how good it's been for me. It was no accident that God gave me this particular vocation.

With at least seven people in my house at almost all times, and four kids who don't nap, and one who stays up almost as late as I do, the opportunities to indulge myself are few and far between. I can't watch rubbish on TV, because my kids will see it. I can't sneak cookies all afternoon, because my kids can smell me eating cookies from across the house.

If I set a good example by saying morning prayers or the rosary or being available to spend time with them, I know that makes a difference in a bunch of little lives. If I set a bad example by losing my temper in traffic, or bending the truth to excuse my behavior, well I know that's going to make a difference too. Like Roz, they're always watching.

I make rules for them that I figure I probably should follow too, and give them really excellent advice that was bound to rub off on me sooner or later. But most of all . . . like God, they are all-present and all-noticing. But unlike God, they are really noisy and all up in my face, so I'm more motivated to behave for them than I am for God.

Don't worry, I realize how silly that is. But for me, it's true. And apparently, God figured it out before I did and starting sending me the little monkeys before I even knew I wanted them. I'm grateful for that every day, but especially today on Mother's Day. Because if I make it to heaven it will be because I shaped up for them (oh, and my husband, he keeps an eye out for me too!).