I am not one of these Mormon women who measure their self-worth by the size of their posterity—kind of like men who measure their worldly status by the size of their truck and number of cars, boats, 4-wheelers and other toys cluttering their driveways and yards. Maybe that’s because I grew up in the ‘40s and ‘50s when Mormons who had survived the Great Depression were having only two or three children. Those with larger families were generally considered poor and ignorant.
By the ‘60s, over-the-pulpit Mormon rhetoric rivaled that of Catholics in condemning birth control and extolling large families. Six-child families were good, eight better—and producing 11 offspring made your calling and election sure.
By the time I graduated from BYU, I aimed for a family of no less than eight. I settled for five and if they followed our example, we would now have 25 grandchildren. Fortunately, they did not. The earth looks replenished enough.
Two of our daughters produced no children. Jaycee’s divorce left her too scarred to make another marriage attempt and she shows no interest in taking on the responsibility of single parenthood. Aroo and Biker opted for no children—not a decision I ever considered, but it feels right to them. Lolly and Doc have four—and are over 40 and through. Wort and Cooky have two and may have decided that’s their limit.
The Techies have only one. Another would be nice, but Techie II had a tough time getting Little Pistol here, and I hate to think of her taking another health risk. I haven’t offered my opinion. They would just ignore it and label me an interfering mother/mother-in-law if I did.
Seven lovely grandchildren are a bounteous blessing. Who could ask for anything more?