To get to my aunt's funeral, I spent an inspiring weekend in Amish country. My whole family has been Mennonite (a form of the Amish religion) for 350 years, and has
lived in the same Mennonite farming town since 1840. My great-grandfather was the 11th of 12 children. The direct offspring of Peter now number over 120. My grandfather, who moved to Columbus & became Methodist, still had four kids himself.
This region was such a relaxing one to visit with three kids under the age of 5. When we sat down to eat dinner at church, perfect strangers came up to cut my
2 year old's chicken and stroll with the baby so that my husband could eat. There was pro-life stories sold at the truck stops and healthy organic food everywhere. Kids five and under ate for free most places. The waitress at the local diner not only told me that our baby was cute, but also shared that she had seven kids herself. Each of my elderly aunts and cousins came up to compliment me on my family.
The only sad fact is that out of 20 + grandkids, only four of us have children at all. I'm the only one who has more than two kids. There's the whole rich history of being pro-kid in my family, but our wider culture has even effected the kids of the Amish. My closest cousin even told me that after two kids, she was so finished that she had her tubes tied. I could only sputter out that I had the opposite reaction remembering feeling so heartsick that a doctor cautioned me to stop after three c-sections.
These experiences reminded me that despite the hardships, so evident after traveling for 10 hours with little ones, that the job of motherhood is important and revolutionary in today's culture.