"[Children] are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."My beautiful sister Annie Ballalatak, and her amazing husband have been blessed with a quiver full of love; 8 beautiful and healthy children ranging from 2 up to 16 years old. They have endured loss and have some children in heaven as well.
Annie is a great writer, with wit as well as depth. She shared her Christmas Poem with me this year and it made me both laugh, and cry.
Annie agreed to share part of her poem in celebration of life. Here goes:
"In light of my sister, Kristen’s, joyful news of her seventh healthy baby being born this week, I received some pressure from my peeps to share an excerpt from my 2012 Christmas Poem (that was never sent because I ran out of time and it never got out of ‘draft’ mode!).
It dawned on me one night when I was putting Jesse (our youngest, 2-yr old) to bed that he gets at minimum nine ‘night-night kisses’ every night before going to bed and how some people might think that the youngest of eight children gets the shaft when it comes to the love and attention department.
This along with a chat I had with my mom over the holidays where she was telling me how much grief she gets and how she so often has to defend her daughters’ large families to friends and family prompted me to add this last section to my poem. The context of this usually very silly poem is a conversation between Tom (my husband) and me as we grab a glass of wine (Tom-a beer), sit on the couch and reminisce over the last year and review each of our children and life’s happenings. Only the intro and closing sections are posted.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
T’was the night of the blizzard
and all through the house
was a roar of eight children
and even my spouse
Now what’s on everyone’s mind dear, we mustn’t delay
“You’ve got eight kids, are there more on the way!?
Have you no control, dear man, don’t you know how ‘it works’?
Don’t you know they make meds so you can still have the ‘perks’?”
Should I tell them, honey, we don’t know and request advice?
Or should I admit that we do and are lucky to have so much ‘spice’?
For those who say ‘better you than me’, should I tell them our kids concur
For if it were them, most of the kids would not be here.
For those who can’t imagine there to be enough love to cover every babe
Should I tell them how many kisses Jesse gets before he hits the shade?
For those worried that you can never make enough money
Should I tell them how God has worked it out, should I tell them, honey?
How although we may not have every nicety out there, theirs is a misconception
Every need of ours has been met, without a single exception.
I suppose I could mention how lucky they all are to have our eight children pay
their future Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security one day.
And then I could tell them the theology behind it, why God’ plan is such a way
With a quiver full, comes peach & joy – life’s beautiful bouquet.
Lastly should I try to draw a picture for them – later when we are old
All the love and sacrifice we gave our children being repaid a hundred-fold?
Na, It’ll suffice to just tell them we feel lucky to be blessed eight times over
And they shant worry, we won’t be inviting ourselves over.
T’was still the night of the blizzard
but the roar was now gone
Nine sleepers last count
all but the mom
Christmas music off
lights off the fire hazard (tree)
– now out of sight
Happy Christmas to all
and to all a good night!
The Ballalatak Family"