We went to Mass today, like we do every Sunday, and I sat in the narthex with three of my children. I usually sit with two, but Trixie has been having asthma flare-ups recently so I thought it best she stay away from the incense smoke. Anyway, there we were, and today I really felt blessed to be at a church that just oozes with children. Off the top of my head, in our small parish of perhaps 150 families, I can think of at least 20 families with five or more children. There is one family with eight kids and two with nine! My seven just fit right in.
The kids aren't an afterthought, they are one of the reasons we're there. There's no nursery, everyone attends the same liturgies. These kids have been to Mass every Sunday of their lives so they are remarkably well behaved. It's pretty quiet. But when Mass is over and they all come pouring out, all loud and happy, it is one wonderfully joyful noise.
Here are my bookends.