Yesterday Carl and I celebrated our 41 wedding anniversary. We spent the entire day together driving around Wasatch and Summit counties trying to find a cabin or mountain lot we could afford to buy so we could have the mountain cabin retreat we've always dreamed about. We found a lot of beautiful places for sale, but most were far out of our price range. We'll keep dreaming, looking, and keep hoping, but in the meantime we know that even if our mountain cabin dream never comes true we have ten amazing children that we love and they love us. I wouldn't trade any of my unfulfilled material dreams for what we now have.
It was difficult when they were growing up and we had even less than we have now to make a decision to have more children. It would have been nice to have a boat or a motorhome or a bigger, nicer house with nicer furniture. It would have been great to give more lessons and opportunities to the children. It would have been nice to have taken them on exotic trips or to have given them more of everything parents give children. But from the vantage point of 41 years I am more certain than ever that I made the right choice.
There is not one single one of my children that I could live without. They bring me so much joy. Oh, it hasn't all been roses and chocolate. We've had our struggles. We've lived through health problems, stresses, rebellions, emotional breakdowns, financial crisis and all the other fretful things that go with family life. But what I can say now, is that it has all been worth it. My children make me laugh. They call just when I need comfort and encouragement. They keep me humble. They know me better than anyone else and like me in spite of my faults. They keep me company (when they are here and through telephone visits). They bring me incredible joy as I watch them doing the things I taught them to do. That is one of the surprises of old age—discovering how much joy it brings you when you see your children doing what is right. Another surprise is watching them do things you never did teach them. Every one of them has skills and talents that I don't have. Every one of them has learned and surpassed me! What a delight.
Forty-one years! It started out with the two of us and now there are 50 (next month there will be 51!) of us. I am so grateful for the years and for the family! I can't even put into words what it means to me. God has been so good to me.