Family Flashback Friday

This week's Flashback Friday is all about families.  I am the 8th child of 10 (6 girls, 4 boys); the youngest girl.  There are 9 years between myself and the oldest;  there are 4 years between myself and the older of my younger brothers.  My parents' house has 6 bedrooms, so we all double-upped with the sleeping arrangements.  The goal was to get to sleep downstairs, although by the time I was old enough to sleep down there, I was too much of a chicken to do it!  Growing up was tough...everybody telling you what to do, jumping out of corners and hitting you (one brother in particular), and of course the incessantly being picked on.  I consider the brother who bothered me the most one of my best friends.  Our boys are very close in age, so we share that bond, too.
When we all get together, there's a lot of laughing and kidding around.  All of us live in the area, except for  the oldest and the youngest, who live in different states.  Another sister lives a couple of hours away, but she's still in the same state...barely!  I think we all get along pretty well.  I do think that being the 8th child has shaped my ability to get along well with other people, no matter what their background.  I don't like confrontations, and have a hard time telling people "no".  My sisters & sisters-in-law are my absolute best friends.  If I ever need anybody to talk to, they're the ones I go to.  Blood is definitely thicker than water, and I know that they'll be there no matter what.
The only thing that one of my siblings did that I really wanted to do was being an exchange Belgium.  I wanted to live in a different country ever since I can remember.  Well, my sister went, came back, and made some choices that my parents weren't crazy about (understatement of the year!), so that pretty much cut me out of being able to do anything like that.  To this day, I'm still harboring a little bit of resentment about that.
I do think that the older kids were more independent than the youngest 4 of us, especially me.  Maybe it was being the youngest girl, but I really didn't become that independent until I was in college.  I was perfectly content to stay at home and not go running around, especially my senior year in high school.  I was always afraid of getting in trouble, which may be because, with fewer kids at home, more attention would be on me.
It wasn't until my junior year in high school that I went to school alone.  I was all by myself at the high school for my junior & senior years.  It was hard to try to fill some of my sisters' shoes...I really didn't have to worry about filling my brothers'...they were both quite the handful!  I don't think my  younger brothers had any trouble filling mine.  When I was in first grade, the nuns would threaten to tell one of my older siblings if I didn't behave; I really don't think they could have cared less what their bratty little sister was into this time!
When I was growing up I wished I had been born into a smaller family, but, looking back at all of the memories and the love that are there, I wouldn't have my life be any different than it was.  Well, maybe being an exchange student would've been nice, but other than that...!  (I know, I know...I really need to let that go!)

I'm off to see everybody else's response!  Go link up at Mocha with Linda for Flashback Friday!


  1. This was fun to read...our families definitely shape who we are. I read yours to the hubs..he has a sneaking suspicion who the pesky brother was : )

    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. You weren't exactly an angel to your younger brothers, either. (Though I suspect you got a bit more than you gave...)

  3. Wow, coming from a family of 10 children--I love it! I came from a family of 2, and have always admired large families. I'm sure there was never a dull moment.

  4. my mom's family had 6 kids and they always have GREAT stories to tell on each other.
    being an exchange student would have been fun

  5. I can't believe your Sister ruined your chances at being an exchange student!!!! :o
    I, being one of two children dearly wished I had a bigger family. Especially since my brother passed away so young (25)
    Your childhood sounds FUN.

  6. Very cool to read. I envy you your childhood. My post from today reflects a very different reality. I guess I'm just starting to deal with how much our family shapes who we are.

    I'm glad you had a good foundation.

  7. What fun memories. Wow 10 kids, your poor momma! lol Enjoyed reading your memories and learning a little more about you. It's funny I always wanted a bigger family, thought it would be a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing!
    until next time... nel

  8. I was always scared to get in trouble too!

    Enjoyed reading this. Growing up in a big family definitely teaches relational skills!

  9. For me it was the opposite, being the oldest I wasn't allowed to do as much as my siblings... My parents were overprotective but as my siblings came along they'd learned to let go a bit more. Plus my siblings could go out and do things younger because I was going to be there too.

  10. Wow! 10 kids and I thought we were a big family with 5 kids. Loved reading your memories.

  11. What a large family. I'm sure there was never a dull moment! I grew up with three older brothers, being the baby by 6.5 years. It was like my parents had started over.

  12. Our blogs started almost the same, but then changed. Funny how people remember different things. Your blog was great.

    Love you!

  13. I read your post after your sister' to see the similarities and differences. Have a great weekend!

  14. This was a great post...though it did leave me wondering what your sister did upon her return. So sorry about Belgium. (Those opportunities to live abroad for a year should be available at any age!!)


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