When I think of my grandparent’s house in North Casper, it always brings a smile to my thoughts. It wasn’t a big house, in many ways, but it did have a big back bedroom where all the kids had slept at one time. With nine children, they needed a fair amount of space for everyone. Nevertheless, the rest of the house really wasn’t that big. When I think of the song, “Little Houses” by Doug Stone, I think of my grandparent’s house. When their kids were young, and all or most of them were still living at home, there was little chance that they could pass each other in the hall without brushing against each other. They had to learn to get along and to work together as a team. There was simply no other way.
Oh, I know there were the typical fights. I came from a family of 5 sisters, so I can attest to that, but there is always a closeness too. It’s about knowing that your siblings will always love you…even if you are annoying sometimes. Let’s face it; you can’t grow up without going through that annoying adolescent stage, so we have all been there. Still, there is something about being crowded into a house that is maybe just a little small for the size of the family that brings a camaraderie that you can’t get when you live in a house that is so big that you almost don’t notice that you have siblings at all.
In big families, the older kids are grown and often married while there are still more children coming into the family, so there really never is a time without the pitter patter of little feet and the giggling of babies. There is just never a dull moment. And for the older kids, there is nothing more exciting that getting a new baby to hold. Sometimes you wonder if that baby will ever learn to walk…because I mean they are always being held, right? Nevertheless, those same siblings who want to hold those babies will also happily teach them the ropes of growing from babyhood to the world of the toddler.
Once the siblings have all been born into the family, the nieces and nephews begin to arrive, and there are more babies to hold, teach and babysit. Love is simply everywhere in a little house. I remember going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and as one of those nieces, I remember feeling the love that filled every wall of that old house. Grandma and Grandpa always made us feel like we were their own kids, and the house always felt warm and cozy. Yep…love really does grow best in little houses.