Goodman comes from a big family.
Let’s just put it this way, he is 1 of 11. 11 children in his family.
So when you start factoring in weddings and babies being born, it begins to add up quickly.
Faye is one of 16 grandkids so far (only on Goodman’s side). The last 5 have been girls. 5 little girls born in one year. The idea of that is mind boggling to me. I grew up without a lot of cousins, and the ones that I do have are significantly older or younger than me. The relationships with them were all good, and I love them dearly, but I wasn’t able to grow up with them by my side. Faye has 4 cousins her age, and currently, 4 out of the 5 little girls live within a 10 mile radius (the other one is in Florida, who we actually are fortunate to see fairly regularly). Right now it is just a lot of bows and dresses in one picture, but thinking of what it will be in the future is the fun part. 5 little girls, as different as they come, growing up together.
Annabelle, she is the oldest and the leader of the pack. Her joy and zest for life is contagious. Her little blonde curls and gap toothed smile perfectly depict her lively personality. She knows how to have a good time and will bring cheer to anyone around her. She is the one I want at my birthday party.
Geneva is the youngest of 5, but definitely doesn’t let that keep her from having her voice heard. She has the kindest eyes, the sweetest lips, and the most sensitive soul. Already, at such a young age, you can tell how intuitive and loyal she is. She is the one I want in my corner.
Faye is the awkward middle one. She is playful, hilarious and loves to make people smile. She adores her cousins and usually smothers them with her drooly kisses. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. She wants it, and she will get it. I feel like she will be the one in the middle of all the messes and trouble to come. She is the one I want to take to a dance party
Esther Rhodes. What more do you have to say with a name like that? She is the coolest baby around. She is so laid back, and such a fun little girl. She is patient, and kind. She smiles with her whole body, which can’t help but make you smile. You can tell that she has so much to say, but will choose very wisely what and when to say it. She is the one I want to sign my yearbook.
Lenore is the youngest of the pack. Having only joined us about 3 months ago, we haven’t been able to unwrap many of her layers yet, but one thing I do know for sure is that she is a gem. She is the most peaceful baby around. Also, she is extremely tolerant, because if you only knew how many times we squished her cheeks a day, you’d agree. She is the one I want to snuggle up with and take a nap.
These are my girls. They are going to be each other’s best friends, biggest competition, toughest critics, and greatest encouragers. There are definitely going to be times that they will not want to be friends, but they are always going to be family. There is always going to be a special bond that they will share despite differences in families and personalities because there is no one that can understand them better. I am so glad that I get to raise Faye beside these other 4 women. They are incredible mothers and strong women. Just like the girls, we couldn’t be more different from one another, but that’s why we work.
One of the things I have learned from marrying into a big family is that there is a specific reason for every person in the family. Everyone has their purpose, and no one was placed there accidently. Some people are the encouragers, some are the challengers, some are the growers, and some are the lovers. We need them all. We wouldn’t be a family without them all. We wouldn’t be our family without every single person in it, and for that I am incredibly thankful.
I hope that from growing up in such a large family, Faye learns unwavering loyalty, compassionate acceptance, and overwhelming love. After all, we wouldn’t be who we are without all of them, and they really do make life so much more fun.
So thank you, family. Blood or not, for shaping Goodman, Faye, and me into the people we are today. We love you all.