• Dadwagon on Facebook
  • Dadwagon on Twitter
  • Dadwagon RSS feed

Fourth, Fireworks, (lots of) Family

July 6th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

If you are a Real American, your weekend probably didn’t look too different from mine: serrated animal carcasses over blistering coals, five gallons of something that looked like it might be coleslaw, and a low-level explosives show, the kind that would likely make you and your family victims of a Predator strike if you were living in Waziristan.

So I’ll skip the details and go straight to the real mind-bending stuff: my cousin and his eight children. I’m not talking about one of those huge-hearted foster families. I’m talking about one man and one woman producing an octo-squad of tow-headed children.

His family could hardly be more different than mine, even beyond the sheer volume. He homeschools his kids in the Adirondacks; I am trying desperately not to. I consider myself Jewish (despite being a half-blood); I’m pretty sure he’s raising his kids very Christian. I know they are all John Birch-level conservatives (the oldest son wore a t-shirt that said “Annoy a liberal: work hard and succeed”).

But here’s the twist: his kids are wonderful, the t-shirt notwithstanding. They are gentle and outgoing and hugely cooperative. They play great with younger kids; they are at ease around adults. Their demeanor is no small triumph in our family, which has not always had such success raising kids (another cousin who was arraigned for bank robbery this weekend managed somehow to post bail and attend the barbecue with his daughter).

Given that my wife and I don’t plan on exceeding replacement rate (i.e., no more kids) and that we’re not about to move into the wooded hinterland, what can I take away from my cousin’s success? For now, one thing: don’t sweat the little stuff. These kids surely weren’t each individually swaddled with intense attention and personalized fuss. There’s just not enough time in the day to do that with eight kids. But the kids have come to rely on each other, and their parents provide the vision thing. It’s something we should all aspire to, whether we have two kids or eight.



    The Week on the Wagon: Women Edition | DADWAGON

Leave a Response


Recent Comments

  • Dee: As one of the impressed moms there last night, and also because my kid ate 3 bowls of that bolognese, thanks for...
  • Drew Wallner via Facebook: I’m totally making this when we get back from holiday travel, I even just got a...
  • Matt: Whoops! Just put that back in. The recipe editor has been fired.
  • Ed Lilly: Looks great – thanks for posting! One question – you did not specify putting the meat back into...
  • Maks: I’m against baby yoga for sure, but want to say something regarding that author is a little wild about...

DadWagon Reads!



The Right Way to Swear in Front of Your Kids


Context, context, context.

Sep 19th 2:33pm • No Comments

I don't care. EAT IT ANYWAY, KID!

‘Five Second Rule’ for Food on Floor Is Untrue, Study Finds


Researchers concluded that no matter how fast you pick up food that falls on the floor, you will pick up bacteria with it.

Sep 19th 11:38am • No Comments


Why Danish Parents Like to Talk About Death


It's because it makes for happier kids, says new book.

Aug 11th 8:19am • No Comments

Not sure whether to be proud or pissed we didn't make this list.

The Awl

The definitive ranking of dads.

Aug 3rd 5:39pm • No Comments