The most amazing part of a 10-kid family is without question the woman who birthed, raised, taught, watched over, cried with, comforted, and tenderly loved all ten of her wildly rambunctious spawn.
Mom is crazy petite – 5ft flat, somewhere shy of 90lbs. She cries easily, laughs even more quickly, and when she’s mad enough she’ll call you out by your full name. Luckily, in her flustered state, it can take her a bit of time to land on the right name from among the other 10 options – I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance you make it out of the room before she hits upon it. Simple math would show that mom was pregnant for much of my childhood and I clearly remember that right around the last couple weeks of pregnancy she would get these incredible urges to deep clean the house, and that’s when I’d walk into the kitchen to find her standing on a chair organizing the kitchen cabinets or wiping down the top of the refrigerator. Heightened pregnancy senses also meant that there was no sneaking back into the house late at night pretending that you had just gotten up for a glass of water. Nope, mom could smell the remnants of that night’s vices. My brothers kept an air freshener canister in the bushes at the entrance of our apartment but I knew mom could still smell the cigarette smoke through the chemical concoction masquerading as “meadow rain”.