HOW MANY KIDS ARE YOU GONNA HAVE?
To most people, this is a common, ordinary, and maybe even friendly question. However, when directed at me, a father of eight children, this question is usually accompanied by raised eyebrows, crossed arms and an annoying tapping foot!
Years ago, it was not uncommon for young couples to get married and have large families. Today, however, "modem man" has been programed to believe that one or two children is the limit. The people who have more than that must face the mob of coworkers, inlaws, family, and friends who all want to know: "HOW MANY KIDS ARE YOU GONNA HAVE?" Oh they'll hear things like "You like to keep the little lady busy don't you?" or "Just wait `til they have to go to college." and "How are you gonna pay for all those weddings?" These questions, which are nobody's business, but your own, although they may seem thoughtful, are really intended to be more of an insult than a concern.
Of course I hear different remarks after people actually meet my family. Such as, "How, happy and peaceful your children are" and "how obedient and polite they all are". Some begin bashing their own families by saying "How does your wife do it? We only have two, and my wife can't control them at all." "They drive us crazy." "They don't listen to us." etc., etc.
Naturally there are those that, after finding out I'm a Catholic, have tons of really neat religious jokes to tell me which quickly transform our relationship from a friend to `some guy I know'.
It makes me laugh when people who either altered their bodies with surgeries or took medications with adverse sideeffects to prevent their bodies from being fully functional say "What about all the health risks you're giving your wife by having so many children?" Studies have proven that the increase in breast, uterine, and prostate cancer in recent years are directly linked to birth control medication, vasectomies and other life preventing surgeries. When I present these facts to the inquisitor, the healthconscious, backpeddling friend quickly redirects the subject to all the financial strain and burden my large family is inflicting on my income. I'm sure there are thousands of reasons why I should limit the number of children I have, but I don't think any of them are pleasing to God.
As I look at my beautiful wife and all eight of our children, and then to the rest of my family starting with my parents, who just celebrated 45 years of marriage, who have seven children of their own (I'm the youngest), 40 grandchildren and one on the way, one greatgrandchild and three more of those on the way, I am reminded of the abundant fruitfulness of all of God's creation. I'm also thankful that my parents weren't persuaded, by their false friends, who urged them to stop having children after having two.
I wouldn't be here typing this right now!
In conclusion, HOW MANY KIDS AM I GONNA HAVE? I don't know, but God does.
When are people gonna stop asking about it? Probably never, but that's OK I'm used to it!
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