enough to go around

"A mother is only as happy as her saddest child." Loving Leah

When I was in sixth grade, my teacher called me to her desk. The class was working silently, but momentarily put down their pencils to listen.

"Whitney, are you Catholic?" she asked.
"No, we're Presbyterian," I said naively.
"Oh, OK," she smirked.

Today, I can only thank the Lord himself for blessing me with such blissful Catholic innuendo ignorance.

My teacher, who'd recently learned I was one of five children, was implying that my parents must not use birth control.

Now, it almost seems funny though, that Nadya Suleman didn't have to decide whether or not she believed in contraceptives. She didn't even need to have sex to conceive her fourteen children.

It's interesting, though, that Suleman's fourteen are now opening up criticism for women who have chosen to have five or six children (or really any more than three).

These women, assumed to be either incredibly religious or the victims of a medical mishap, are being told that they couldn't possibly have enough love and affection for so many kids.

And maybe if I hadn't been one of five, I'd say the same thing. Maybe I too would think that after three kids a mother's love is maxed out and she's forced to spread it thinly over the remaining kids like the last of the butter on burnt toast (the heel of the bread, mind you).

But I know this is not the case. I know that even if the first four kids are happily tucked in bed, snuggling with puppies and dreaming of Disney World, my mom can't sleep. She can't sleep until her fifth baby is tightly tucked in too. Even if four of us are kings and queens of great countries, if the fifth is still a pauper, she's not completely happy.

And it became ever-more evident last weekend, during my final Mom's Weekend. My mom came, even though she's been to IU thousands of times (she did go here...). Even though I saw her last weekend and will see her next weekend. Even though she lives approximately one hour from IU, she booked a hotel for the weekend. It was a weekend of shopping, dining and fabulous outings, and her love could not have been any more abundant.

And when Sam said to her, "Mom, will you buy me..." and she began, "Yes..." before he finished the sentence, it was obvious she'd do anything to keep even the last of five happy.

So, maybe Suleman is crazy, seeing as she was already struggling to support her six children. Maybe it wasn't the best choice, seeing as she's single and living with her parents. Who really knows? Regardless of how much her decision lacks logic, it's evident that it certainly doesn't lack love.