An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Posts tagged ‘Grandchildren’

Who Could Ask for More?

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?

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First Child

Our youngest son, Techie, and his wife, Techie II, are expecting their firstborn in two weeks. Techie II is at the waddling elephant stage of pregnancy and barely speaking to the Cause. They are opting for a home delivery—under water. Technie has inflated a wading pool bought for the occasion. I’m grateful my presence is neither expected nor welcomed.

A midwife and her assistant along with a dula and her assistant have been engaged for the occasion. With four women in charge, Techie will probably be banished from the house which is a good thing. Techie’s stint as a standup comic will not allow him to make helpful or even appropriate comments for the occasion.

The Techies decided against learning the baby’s gender before birth. We’re all praying for a girl since they plan to name a boy Genghis. Techie blames me for the name choice. When our first grandchild was gestating, I informed our daughter and son-in-law that it was the grandparents’ right to name the grandchildren, and referred to the baby as Hubris (I was very proud of that first grandchild) for nine months. I named our elder son’s first baby Costco since it was a successful project conceived in Seattle. Techie appreciated my odd sense of humor until his progeny was involved. He said he picked Genghis because I couldn’t come up with a weirder name. He’s right. I couldn’t.

The Techies also plan to home school their children which is probably a good thing. Can you imagine a teacher seeing the name Genghis on her class roster? It could start another teacher shortage.

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