In her excellent blog, “Why I never should have had eight children”, Leila Miller gives a spot on depiction of both the scorn and the sainting mothers of big families face from a culture that is utterly confused by why any sane woman in an age of readily available birth control would put herself through such a needless ordeal.
There are the nosey environmentalists who disapprovingly count my carbon footprints as they spill out of my minivan at the mall. And how many times have well-intentioned friends asked me if I think it’s “fair” on the children I already have to have another baby? And yet, how many times have my husband and I looked at each other across the room, six pleading, whining, crying children between us, and wondered how we got here, what have we done, and what would social services think if they walked in at that moment.
Large families are loud, chaotic, messy, late to everything and well…. fun! I’ll never forget a story my sister told me of her daughters’ friend – an only child. The little girl loved to be in my sister’s busy and noisy house and there were always tears and refusals to go when her mommy showed up to take her home. On one occasion her mother desperately pleaded with her telling her not to worry, that she could actually come back tomorrow. In a revealing outburst, the little girl shouted, “No! I want to be one of them!!!”
Leila Miller is on to something when she calls her children “little sanctifiers”. With so much sanctifying going on, no wonder the world can’t conceal their fascination?