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On #5

May 9, 2014

baby number 5

Brace yourselves…. another Williston is on the way.

That’s right, just a day after we celebrated the second birthday of our son, Nicholas, Michelle and I are proud to announce that our family is growing once again.  Baby Williston #5 is due to make his/her arrival in early December 2014 (just in time for a tax deduction, of course!).

I fully expect excitement and an outpouring of love for this little one-in-development and I also expect of few of you lurking in the shadows to mumble, “are they crazy?”

The answer – we might be – and we’re ok with that.  When we take a look around our home and the profound love that exists there, we can’t help but buy into the notion that another will only add a new and amazing dimension to our family.

Over the last several weeks, we have pondered what 5 means for and to us.  While I can’t capture all of Michelle’s thoughts, I humbly offer a few feelings that we’ve discussed.

  1. Some of the families I admire most are those that are joyfully growing. They are not afraid of having a full home.  They don’t outwardly fret about the future.  They look at the unique character of each of their children and, it seems, are inspired to find out what gifts the “next one” will bring to their home.If you know our kids, you know we already have a dreamer, a philosopher, a sprite and a charming little bruiser.What’s left?  I can’t wait to find out.
  2. After ten years of marriage and nine years of fatherhood, I still have a lot to learn.  Whatever course of life we pursue is(or should be) a lesson in self sacrifice.  In pursuit of love we must abandon selfishness and seek the true good of others.  And some of us need a few more invitations to “die to self” than others.Each and every one of our children is another gift urging us towards holiness.  They are asking me, even in moments of great frustration, to put aside myself and love unconditionally.  Occasionally, I even rise to the call.There are so many things I want in life.  There are so many things that I want to do with my time.  And few, if any, compare to giving our kids what they need to grow into extraordinary little people. It’s only when I lose sight of this reality that I begin to wonder if having a “big family” is crazy.
  3. There is this strange thing that often happens when you tell people you’re the parent of four or five kids.  I can’t tell you how often people stop, take a deep breath, look down at the floor and tell you how they wish they had more kids but couldn’t/didn’t for this reason or that.  It’s heartbreaking, really, how many people are on that side of the fence.Having kids is often crazy and overwhelming in the midst of daily life but I have never heard anyone say, “I really wish we hadn’t had all the kids we did.”  There is no one on that side of the fence.Society tries to tell us all about when  it is responsible and expedient to have a child. Yes, there is a call to responsible parenthood and all of us are called to prayerfully consider what that means for their family.  But, society often makes the mistake of labeling things that cost us something of ourselves as irresponsible.  This simply isn’t true.
  4. The other day, it occurred to the kids that our almost-two-year-old would be starting pre-school next year.“Mom will have all the kids in school,” they said, “what is she going to do all day?”“Well,” I said jokingly, “I guess we are just going to have another baby so that mom has something to do, huh?”The kids thought about it for a minute, shrugged their shoulders and agreed that was a good plan.  None expressed concerns about available resources.  No one cited a doubt in the capacity for love.  I don’t recall being asked, “where are you going to put another baby?!?”

    In a simple, childlike way, they understood – this is what family is all about.

Thank you, in advance for all of your prayers.  We can’t wait for you to meet baby Williston in late 2014.

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