We must have all been feeling somewhat better because we spent the past weekend in full on "party-mode" as we celebrated the 6th birthday of our very own Drama Queen, aka Sierra Lynn. Her birthday was officially on Saturday but the princess managed to have a weekend full of festivities.
She started on Saturday with a trip to the salon for a mani/pedi, a Target shopping trip, and lunch at the Mexican restaurant. The "Sierra-bration" continued on Sunday with a bowling alley party with friends and a family party that evening. We ate too much cake, gave too many presents, and had too much fun. Well maybe not "too much" fun. :)
Some might think that a weekend long celebration is a bit extreme for one 6 year old, but that is just the way we party in the Gaffner house. And though Sierra certainly IS special, we treat all of our children as such royalty on their birthdays. Why? Because it is a beautiful reminder of the blessing that our kids are and how thankful we are for their health and sweet little lives.
Sure we get asked silly questions regarding our large family number, and yes we know that a family of 5 children is not considered "normal"; but we believe that we are blessed beyond measure and that God's decision to give us five amazing children is no mistake. Even IF four of our five kids were unplanned pregnancies.
Yes you heard me right, all four of my pregnancies have been unplanned. Sierra started the trend six years ago. Despite the surprise factor that we have had each time, we have felt immeasurably blessed and honored that God would find us capable of caring for His children.
There is a new article that is causing quite a stir on the "Yahoo!" mainpage about a woman who has recently written a book about "why she gave up her children". You can find it here: http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/parenting/the-opposite-of-a-tiger-mother-leaving-your-children-behind-2460982/;_ylt=AqGp2ZQyUiupbD9q7dg7vBhabqU5
The "gist" of this article is simple. This mother chose to leave her family behind one day and has written a book about how choosing to not be the "in home" mother to her children was a good decision. When I initially read this, I felt bad for her. Then my sympathy turned to fury. Then my fury turned to sadness. Sadness for both her and her children.
In my most humble opinion, when a man and a woman choose to have sex they must realize that pregnancy is a possibility. After all, reproduction is the purpose of sexual intercourse. To choose to be intimate with another should mean that you are committed to that person and to whatever comes as a result of that intimacy. Michael and I may not have "planned" our pregnancies, but we certainly weren't preventing and most definitely were "practicing"... if you catch my drift. Therefore, it should really have never come as a surprise to us when we discovered each time that I was pregnant. After all, we were knowingly participating in the activity that causes pregnancy.
I read this article and I wonder if this woman fully understood the biology of sex. And if she did and was not prepared to love and raise the possibility of children, then she should have practiced another activity, celibacy.
I find in this article much more than a sad story of a woman who has no idea what she truly gave up. She didn't just "walk away" from her children. She walked away from daily reminders of love, the joy of being a part of simple developments, the honor of raising responsible adults, and much more. She walked away from an endless amount of blessing and affection.
All that being said, I find in this article the sad state of humanity in our world today. We live in a world that desires to be free of responsibility. A world where selfishness runs rampant. It is all too easy in our society to be lazy, irresponsible, and ignorant. And this article is a prime example.
This weekend as we celebrated the birth of our Sierra, we were celebrating more than just her entrance to our world and family. We were celebrating the gift of life, love, and laughter that we have experienced as a result of our children. We were celebrating the responsibility that we "signed up for" upon giving birth to each of them. We were celebrating the great honor that we have in teaching and loving each of our five amazing kids.
And every parent, male or female, that finds it "okay" to walk away from their responsibility as mom or dad should be ashamed. Seriously, they should. Maybe if more Americans accepted responsibility across the board, our country wouldn't be in such bad shape.
Just a thought.
I am so thankful for Sierra. I am thankful for each of our Gaffner Chaos. And no matter how crazy they make me some days. No matter the headaches I may get after a busy day or the mess they make on a daily basis. I have been given the responsibility of loving and raising them from the moment of their birth.... til death do us part.
Parenthood ain't for wusses. Take notes America. We need to throw more "Sierra-brations" for our kids. They are worth it.