Herald-Journal Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, April 6, 1998

Last of the boys - number ten


My mother and dad had 10 children. I am number 10, the last one. My brother said that I can't say that because when he was born, he was the last one. But after him there were four more, including me - number 10.

One day Mother said, "Well children, how would you all like to go to the fair?"

"All of us?" I asked.

"Sure," said Mother, "Dad will take one car and I will take the other one and we will all go. The older kids can help take care of the little ones."

We all got ready to go and when Dad came home we all got into the cars. When mother got in her car, she said, "Is everyone here?" She looked in the back seat and counted. "Where is Ben?" she asked, "Go see if he is in dad's car."

But Dad said, "No, he's not here. Do you have Frank in your car?"

Mother said no.

"Well we better go look for them," Dad said. We all went back to the house.

We found Ben asleep on the back porch and Frank was playing in the mud. Mother had to change his clothes and wash him up. The rest of us went back to the car and waited.

Mother and Frank finally came and we started off. We got to the end of our driveway and Dad stopped. My two sisters got out of his car.

Dad came over and said, "The girls have to go to the bathroom. Does anyone else have to go? If you do, go now."

When the girls came back, we started out again. This time we actually got to the fair. We all climbed out of the cars.

Dad said to Mother, "I think our family is big enough, don't you?"

Mother said, "Yes, but I love every one of them." And Dad agreed.

But Dad said, "I think we will have to do like they do in the army. We will line them up and do roll call. I will call their name and they will have to answer, 'here.' And that way we won't lose them." So that night he started the roll call. We thought it was fun.

The years passed and number 10 really was the last one. Now we are all grown up and have children of our own. We all come home for Christmas and when we come in the door, we all line up and Dad does roll call. We say, "here" with love in our heart.

No matter how many children you have, love them all.

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