Simultaneously we were cultivating the friendship of a man who became one of my husband's dearest friends, met my sister at our wedding, and eventually became my brother-in-law. His military family, while not ideal, seemed to have many of those same mutually-supportive qualities we had admired on TV. He was one of seven children.
It's easy to see where this is going and yes, by the time we were settled into our marriage and getting ready to start our family, we were thinking of seven children. It's fairly easy to see how that would go as well, but as I wrote earlier, we were young and dumb.
We even went so far as to decide our children would be closer if they were closer in age. Our eldest was barely twelve when our seventh was born. If we'd taken more time to consider, perhaps we would have organized matters a bit differently.
Now here we are, not a Walton clone in sight. Our children all have children of their own and our eldest grandchild, a handsome young man named Austin, recently married. Our family may be looking at yet another generation in the years soon to come.
We're human. Like other parents, we've made mistakes and I have to admit, I made some whoppers. While I have my regrets, I'm deeply grateful for my family. They have their share of mistakes, regrets, and differences as well, and that mutually-supportive vibe we looked for is quieted by distance: the seven of them are spread over six states. Still they make serious efforts to stay in touch and to back one another. They are all great people.
With the birth of our twenty-fifth grandchild last month--a handsome manchild named Zane, we now have grandchildren from A to Z. Most of them are too far away to know us well, but we are making the effort to see them as often as we reasonably can and we're trying to remain an important parts of their lives. The Waltons may have had a more idealized family, but they've got nothing on us.