"To Dad who only reared twelve children and to Mother who reared twelve only children."
That is the dedication for the book "Cheaper By The Dozen." When I first read that several years back I thought that was a rather odd way of putting it, but only recently I realized that I understood it perfectly.
In my family, though, it was reversed. My mom only raised five children. We would always be hearing other people exclaiming at the size of our family, but I never once heard Mom say that we were a handful or that our house was chaotic because of the kids that lived there. She didn't seem to realize that she had a larger than typical family- she just raised us, clothed us, fed us and, most of all, loved us like it was no big deal.
My dad raised five only children. I think I can speak for each of my siblings when I say we all know that we're Dad's favorite kid. Whether he's talking on the phone or enjoying a meal with us or if he's helping out by watching the kids or sending gifts to grandkids, he has a way of making whomever he's interacting with feel like the most important person in the world.
Maybe I'm a bit biased here, but I know that my parents are the best parents I could ever wish for. And I say that fully aware of their imperfections and sin.
So many times I wish I could say thank you once again to my mommy. She sacrificed so much to love me. But I'm so very grateful that I still have many oppotunities to say this to my dad:
"Thank you, Dad, thank you. I love you."