Saturday, July 18, 2009
Catholic or Careless?
To some, people having more than the proverbial 1.8 children are candidates for the Guinness Book of Records. To have six children even to many Christian and Catholic are frowned upon as irresponsible, inconsiderate, and a burden. However, not all reactions to a large family are negative. There are older people who look at my children and think of their own grandchildren. There are also people of all ages who honestly respect a couple that have shouldered the responsibility for a “large family.” One of my Manager’s once told me “I don’t know how you’ve raised so many children, but I respect you. You’re an inspiration to me.” And another younger intelligent and bright co-worker said to me ‘I saw your husband at Prices Supermarket with the children and they all looked so happy”. But they are the exceptions, for the most part, the reactions, verbalized or not, are things like: "Catholic or careless?” “That poor woman!” “Those poor, deprived children!” “What a horrible unfulfilling life they must have! They must have no time or money for anything meaningful!” "How will you pay for university?” The appearance of a family of even two children, if close in age, has been known to elicit unpleasant responses from offended, delicate souls. The question from many people I meet is always when are you going to stop and in my mind I wish I could reply “When I reach six million, I’ll consider stopping.” However, if said it might give me some gratification but it would not truly address the issue. Yet time, just doesn’t allow for what should be spoken. If only it did… I would want to tell them that, indeed I work very hard and succeed thank God at that work, and I feel quite insulted to be pitied. And I would like to tell them that our children certainly do not seem to suffer much for having siblings. At least they don’t act deprived. Of course they realize that they may likely never have their own room or all travel as a family to Disneyland They have, of course, much, much more (not that they always realize it). They have learned to be unselfish and to share. They have to negotiate, compromise, and, most importantly, to love one another for who they are. They have no lack of someone always on hand to boost them up to a tree branch, or a pair of someone to hold the ends of a jump rope. Our children are happy, and so are we. In the end, a large family is absolutely necessary in a world that is becoming more and more selfish and materialistic. It is a contradicting sign in a time when we are told to take care of "Number 1" first. Large families will change the world, for they are the manifestation of "real, sacrificial" love. May the Lord of Light and Love continue to bless and guide your family.