I am so very blessed to have married into the family that I have. My husband, Michael, comes from a very large family where the mystery of an only child remains just that...a mystery. I don't know one member of his family who is an only child, like I am. To me, this is wonderful, since at times, I really regret being one (not that I had too much to do with it)!
Now, don't get me wrong, having my parents' attention all to myself and never having to worry if I was the best in their eyes, was definitely awesome! But, now that I am older, I would really like to have a brother or sister with which to talk to and hang out with. Especially once I became a mom, I realized how nice it would be to have another close family member, besides my parents, with which to share my daughter. Finally, the thought of being alone once my parents pass on, makes me feel like I will lose my family all together when those tragic days arrive.
So, it is something that I cherish very dearly to have Michael's extended family to now belong to. Every time that a member of his family has a get together of any kind, there is always a large turnout, and once you scan the room, you find that there are usually more family there than friends. This Sunday was just that kind of day, for we went to a first birthday party for my great-nephew, Evan.
Evan's birth is a very special one in our family because he is the 5th member of a huge baby boom that occurred, beginning with the birth of my daughter, Riley, sixteen months ago. You see, the Cleaver clan expanded by SIX CHILDREN in just SIX MONTHS!
After being married for a little over a year, Michael and I decided to start our own family. We met in college and knew each other for eight years before we were finally married at the ripe old age of 30. This meant that married life would be sort of brief before it was time to introduce the married and parenting life combo! We were thrilled when we got pregnant with Riley right away! But, apparently, the rest of the Cleavers were having the same family-starting goal as we were, because before we knew it, four other Cleaver women were pregnant too! I couldn't believe that this already very close family, now had a huge joy to share together and look forward to as well!
So, instead of 7 brides for 7 brothers, the Cleavers have 6 babies for 5 sets of parents! And here they are, starting with the oldest:
Riley - parents: Michael and Melissa
Eli & Ava (fraternal twins) - parents: Max and Brandie
Emma - parents: Clay and Fran
Evan - parents: Greg and Jill
Ben - parents: Johnny and Molly
I am so grateful to now belong to the large family I've always wanted, yet still be an only child too! I guess I've got the best of both worlds!