21, 23, 25 and 27...NO! Those are NOT my lucky lottery numbers!

21, 23, 25 and 27.  It suddenly occurred to me this week that these were not only currently the ages of my children, but they also held other significance.  These numbers were MY ages when I gave birth to each of my four children!  How cool is that?!

I never really think about how old (or young) I may have been when I gave birth to my children.  All I remember is that the 80's are all pretty much a big blur of giving birth and raising young children.  However, the other day I was just riding down the road when it suddenly hit me that their exact ages were the same ages that I had been when I gave birth to them.  Now THAT fact really put things into perspective for me.

Caitlin is 21 years old.  I gave birth to Justin, my first child, when I was 21 years old.  Then I thought about Caitlin and WOW!  It was very difficult for me to imagine her with a child.  At times, she still seems like a child, herself, to me.  I'm really proud of her for going off to Washington, D.C. this semester because she is not extremely independent and is also afraid of her shadow.  Taking care of herself is a big enough task ( one she still needs assistance with at times), so I could never imagine her at this point in her life having and taking care of a child.

Ryan is 23 years old.  I gave birth to David when I was 23 years old.  Justin was born on the 27th of September and David the 26th of March; this made them one day shy of being exactly 18 months apart.  My mind cannot even conceive Ryan having a child at 23.  Although he is child #3, everyone (including him) will agree that he is "Mama's little baby".  You see, I really wasn't sure that I would go for child #4, therefore, I held,, rocked and babied Ryan much of the time.  And he was such a great child to do that with.  He was always very easy going, never cried or complained and all he ever really required was his blankie. Ryan is still that child who never asks for anything and is a very low maintenance person.  At 23 could I imagine Ryan having two children?...NEVER!

David is 25 years old.  When I was 25, I gave birth to Ryan, making the number of little boys I had, grow to three.  Justin was the typical, obedient first child and Ryan the easy going child.  David?...He came into this world lively and has never settled down (although none of us would have it any other way).  Being married for 6 months now, I could actually see David with children...maybe not three at this time in his life, but David definitely loves children and I hope that one day he has 3 little mischievous boys of his own!  I can still remember when Caitlin was born; the boys were 2, 4, and 6 years old.  When they would get home from school each day, David was the one who would run to my room and just lay down in front of Caitlin and look at her.  He loved her from the very beginning.  There are lots of old family photos of the kids, where you can usually find David holding Caitlin.  He still loves kids and they love him; perhaps it is that free spirit of his.  One day I could see him having kids...but at 25?  He's just now beginning to settle down at little, himself.

Justin is 27.  When I was 27, I gave birth to that 4th child.  When I think about it now, I wonder how in the world I ever survived.  I was a stay at home mom with four children...6 years old and younger!  Justin now has a 4 1/2 month old baby and it has been an adjustment for he and Sarah.  I look at them and think 27 is so old to just be getting started with a family, but then I have to remind myself that these are different times.  After all, it hasn't been long that Justin completed his master's degree and actually started a career.  Although he and Sarah are settling into having a baby, I could never imagine them having 4 children right now.

What is the difference?  How did Robby and I do it at that young age and we think that our own children could not?  Well, as I stated before, these ARE different times.  In 1980 I enrolled in college like many of my friends.  It was just something you did.  I wasn't that serious about it and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  All I was concerned about was getting married and starting a family.  And that is exactly what I did.  I put off my college education, got married and had a child every other year until I reached the magical number of 4!  THEN...I went back to college and finished my degree.  I know, it was a sort of backwards way of doing things...and definitely a more difficult path to take.  These days, kids (at least mine) are more focused on college and career.  In this day and age it is important to be able to have a specialized degree in order to find a good job.  Thus, we find people getting married later in life and having children at a later age.  Would I change anything about my life?  That is the question that I have been asked many times over the years by people.  And my answer to them is always the same...NOT ONE THING!  I have no regrets about how I did things (even if I landed in a little trouble at times...), regardless of how backwards they may seem to others.  Being a mom and wife has been the BEST job and BIGGEST accomplishment of my life.

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