29 August 2006
25 August 2006
I grew up in a "small" household: for awhile it was four kids, then it was three, but mostly it seemed like it was only two of us. Two, quiet, sweet, charming girls (don't laugh). So when I married into a family that has eight kids, well, it was, and continues to be, a learning experience. There are just so many differences between these two families of different size, and each difference can teach me something.
- One, the family of eight is extremely loud because they have to be. In order to be heard over the other nine members of the family, you must scream. Lesson learned: While at the in-law's home, don't be afraid to scream.
- Two, interrupting conversations in the large family is the norm. The kids in the large family think that if they have something to say, they better say it quickly otherwise they might never get the chance again. In my small family, however, we NEVER did this: we simply waited our turn. And with so few of us, we didn't have a long wait. Lesson learned: Don't get offended when someone interrupts you. Simply understand that this is their way.
- Three, there are always at least three different conversations happening during any given meal; understandably, it's hard to talk with members of your family who are at the other end of the 12-foot long kitchen table. But again, this NEVER happened with my family. Our kitchen table was small enough that we could reach out and slap each other, if we so desired (which, of course, we never did because we were quiet, sweet, and charming). Lesson learned: Focus on the one conversation of which you are part. Don't worry about missing out on all the other information. If it's important, you'll be informed.
- Four, being part of a large family can be fun. There are so many different people and differences in opinion that you get very interesting interactions. Plus, there's just more fun people watching when you have 14 siblings-in-law, two parents-in-law and 13 nieces and nephews. Lesson learned: sit back and enjoy the show.