January 2, 2008

One of four

I hope no one will take offense at my posting this, but I've recently been pondering about what it means to be a family and to be in a family and...this is going to be a little personal. I suppose a careful reader might have picked up that my family and Allen's family are pretty different in how they view family relations. I've been pondering this for a while now, but something happened yesterday that drove it all home for me. We were sitting around the table at Mamaw's asking the blessing when I heard my father-in-law thanking God for his four children. Allen only has two other siblings. The fourth child mentioned was me. This didn't really surprise me since I'm called "daughter" twenty times for every one time I'm called "daughter-in-law." However, I immediately went back to another time I heard someone talking about four children. One morning, before I'd left my room, I heard my mom saying very vehemently that she had four children. My mom has given birth to three daughters and two sons. Most people would say she has five children, but she wasn't counting me. I've been turning the phrase over in my mind ever since -"four children."

"I have only four children."

"Thank you God for my four children."

Damnation and acceptance in the same phrase. Joy and heartbreak in the hearing.


Loren said...

wow, that's a slap and a caress in the same sentence isn't it.
interesting how the source of the comment (who said it) can change the meaning profoundly.

Katy said...

All I can say to that is that calling a rose a cabbage doesn't make it so!

Anonymous said...

What did you do/they do to precipitate such a statement?

Natalie said...

It's hard to give a clear, simple answer to that question, Anon. I wouldn't know how to begin.

Bobbie-Jo said...

So sorry and so happy that you had to hear that.

Lauren Christine said...


How hurtful. I'm sorry you had to hear that. But what a blessing to hear the other.