Chapter 3.20: Dear Diary, Children, Children Everywhere
Dear Diary, my grandma Memphis loved her country music. I don’t mean the stuff you hear on the radio now, but the old music like Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette. And Loretta Lynn. She was her favorite.
I’m not sure where her love of that style of music came from because it was before her time, I think. Well, no, I’m wrong about that. Now that I remember better, it seems as if she once told me a story of her father Marvin Noble taking her fishing in a rickety old rowboat and with him, he brought a radio. I suppose listening to that old country music brought back fond memories of her childhood before her father died.
You’re probably not only wondering where I’m going with this, you’re also thinking that I haven’t written in a long, long time. Well, I’ll get to that and I’ve been pretty busy.
Right now, let me reacquaint you with the loves of my life…. Charles and Matthieu. They resemble each other so much that I’m tickled to think of how Charles will be when he grows up.
And, my, how he has grown! I suppose you could say he fits the stereotypical “oldest child” mold in that he is often found keeping his younger siblings in line and occupying them when Matt and I are busy.
Yes, I said younger siblings, plural, hence, the reason I’ve been so insanely busy.
This is pretty much the last family photo we were able to take before utter chaos began to rule our lives. (I’m smiling when I write that.) Perhaps, one day, we’ll be able to get a good picture of the entire clan.
Oh, yes, you’re wondering about the little dark haired boy, aren’t you? That is our second son, Laurent. He obviously resembles me the most, but I do see Matt in him, too.
Laurent is our quiet child. He likes to read, play chess and groans whenever he is told to do his chores. But, like his older brother, he is a good boy and a joy to us. He cares about other peoples’ feelings and is sensitive.
A year after Laurent was born, we added our first girl, Martha who we call “Marty.” She is rambunctious, never sits still and loves her gardening boots so much, she wears them all the time. (I think she would wear them to bed if I let her!) She has Matt’s hair and eyes but, unfortunately for me, she doesn’t have his disposition. Some might call her a “stinker,” but I prefer to think of her as “audacious.”
Last but not least, it wasn’t long before we added our twin girls, Elisabeth (“Lissie”) and Caroline (“Carrie”). I suppose I couldn’t get away from having twins since they run in our family big time. Grandma Memphis had two sets of twins!
Anyway, they are sweet but never want the same thing at the same time, so I’m quite busy with them.
We get up earlier than we ever did before because there is always something that needs to be done when you have five children. That was five, wasn’t it? I find myself counting on my fingers sometimes to keep track of them all…. Charles, Laurent, Marty, Lissie and Carrie. Yes, just the five.
This morning, I had to smile because since one year after we were married, we’ve always had a baby or two in the house. It warms my soul and still, I catch Matt all googly-eyed as he watches the children.
It didn’t surprise him, when out of the blue, I said, “We’re going to need another crib.”
Grinning from ear to ear, he said, “And a bigger table, Ma!”
Laurent didn’t seem surprised or to care much at the announcement. But if Charles had heard, and thank goodness he hadn’t yet, he would have groaned loudly about how we had quite enough children in this house!
Instead, he continued his game of peek-a-boo with Marty since they’d already had breakfast.
Well, that last entry was too short, so I’m combining it with this one. As you can see, the twins are much bigger now.
And so am I.
Normally, when I’m pregnant, it’s the best I feel. This time around, however, is different. Maybe my body is just tired of this routine, I don’t know. I’ve gained more weight than usual and deep down, I fear I’ll never have my figure back. Of course, I haven’t seen my figure in years, but that’s beside the point.
And this is where the country music comes in. I don’t really remember the entire song, but I remember grandma singing to it and even watching the old video on youtube.
All at once, I could hear Matt getting after the boys to feed the chickens.
As I watch my family on the farm, it’s those bits of lyrics that I hum to as they float through my head, making me smile. They don’t fit my situation in a literal way, but the sentiment kind of does.
…But here in Topeka the rain is a fallin’
The faucet is a drippin’ and the kids are a bawlin’
One of ’em a toddlin’ and one is a crawlin’
And one’s on the way…
…But here in Topeka, the screen door’s a bangin’
The coffee’s boilin’ over and the wash needs a hangin’
One wants a cookie and one wants a changin’
And one’s on the way…
…Here in Topeka, the flies are a buzzin’
The dog is a barkin’ and the floor needs a scrubbin’
One needs a spankin’ and one needs a huggin’
Lord, one’s on the way…
I hope it ain’t twins again!
Author’s Note: I know this chapter is short, but I needed to catch you up so we could get to know Blue and Matt’s children. Next week, the story continues.
As you learn more about the children, keep in mind the Heir Poll which will be held on September 2nd. I’m really excited about the poll because I have never done one.
As always, thank you for reading. xoxo
“One’s on the Way” by Shel Silverstein, performed by Loretta Lynn, 1971