I have had some remarkable talks with my older children recently. Out of the blue. My 8 year old was up at 4:00 am with a bad dream. So we sat up, had warm milk, and talked for a while. The dream was standard 8 year old terrors - trapped in the basement with her sister and a witch (we had just watched the Wizard of OZ), and the witch trying to poison them. She took the poison out of her cup, but couldn't get it out of her sister's cup. After listening to the dream, and sitting quietly, suddenly she says to me she hopes I have another baby, even though we already have one. Turns out a neighbor girl explained that her mom didn't think she could handle anymore children, so she took "medicine" to keep from having more children. I hadn't ever approached this topic with my 8 year old before, but I explained that it wasn't medicine. It doesn't make anyone well, it actually stops the body from working properly. Then I told her we believe having children is a good thing, and only God knows if we'll have more or not. She was quite relieved to know I wasn't taking that "medicine". This made me wonder the effect contraception has on children. If a child knows his parent don't want any more children, and are making sure they don't have any more, does that reflect on the existing child? What does it do to a child to hear their parents say, over and over, "We're DONE, got my hands full already. Can barely handle the kids I have. No sir, no more kids for me."
My daughter thanked me for my time. Seemed suprised I was willing to entertain such conversations in the middle of the night. Seems to me if I want my kids to come to me with problems, they better know I am there for them anytime, not just at my convenience.
My daughter also thanked me for haveing 7 kids, and that she loves being in a family like ours. I went back to sleep with a peaceful heart, I tell you, a happy, grateful, peaceful heart.