Even the best of kids at the best of times sometimes need a bit of disciplining. During a recent road trip, a few late nights in a row and a delayed lunch had transformed my 4-year-old’s placid mood into a raving tantrum. Forget the crying and carrying on—that we can handle—but when he insisted on running too close to the edge of the pier, I had no choice but to pick him up and carry him back to the car.

Let’s just say that he didn’t take kindly to the sudden change in plans.

Partially deafened by his screams and struggling to restrain the flailing arms and legs, all I could see on my trek down the pier was the amused looks on the faces of the small group of fishermen I had to pass on my long march to discipline.

They looked so comfortable and carefree. Tanned by hours of sun and serenity, sprawled back in their deckchairs, bottlesHe didn’t take kindly to the sudden change in plans of cold beer at their sides and fishing rods wedged into the sand at their feet, I couldn’t help reflecting on the discrepancy between my holiday experience and theirs.

As I struggled past them, they turned as one to watch me pass.

At the end of my patience and somewhat embarrassed by the attention, I enquired “got any kids?”, only to receive a chorus of self-congratulatory “no’s.”

“Want one?” I then asked, indicating the squirming bundle of joy in my arms.

Obviously I was joking and wouldn’t swap my kids for anything, yet I can’t help thinking about the unanimous round of refusal I received from the fishermen. They clearly don’t know what they’re missing.

Some people just don’t appreciate the blessing that children bring. They figure there’ll be plenty of time in the future to settle down and get serious. Why not enjoy their lifestyle or build a career first.

But who says that when you’re ready for G‑d’s blessings that He’ll be handing them out quite so freely? I have had many conversations in which people shared their disappointment that they hadn’t had “just one more child when I was able” or started a family earlier. Now they regret it, but it’s too late.

Every other pleasure pales into insignificance when compared to the privilege of having children and they are the greatest possible blessing.

When our ancestor Jacob realized his life was drawing to a close he summoned his son, Joseph and Joseph’s children to his deathbed.

And he blessed Joseph and said "G‑d before Whom my fathers, Abraham and Isaac walked, G‑d who sustained me as long as I lived, may the angel who redeemed me from all harm bless these youths (Genesis 48:16-17).

On the face of it, it doesn’t make sense. Jacob started off by promising to bless Joseph, but from the continuation of the blessing he seems to totally ignore his son and concentrate instead on his grandsons. Surely Joseph should have cause to complain. Where were his promised blessings?

No father would ever ask that question

But no father would ever ask that question. When Jacob blessed Joseph’s children, Joseph felt blessed himself.

Children are a present from G‑d and every extra child is another gift from our beloved Father in Heaven. No one can promise you that there won’t be occasional drama or public misbehavior, or that the decision to have kids won’t cut into your fishing time. They may be expensive, but they’re worth it.

It might not be the easiest or most comfortable way of life, yet to be entrusted with the privilege of raising G‑d’s children is the greatest blessing to which one can aspire.