Lets talk about the stigma that comes with a larger family. It’s been on my heart.
I distinctly recall not too long ago parking at Walmart and getting everyone out of the car. Remember, we had only 3 children at the time. As the kids were climbing out of the back, an older gentleman walked up to us and said something like, “Geez, you gotta circus in there?”
What? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
I sort of chuckled and said, “No, we only have three!”
Now that I look back on it, it could be because we have a smallish car. A Honda CRV isn’t really a large family type car. Perhaps it looked like we couldn’t all fit!
We only had three children. This wasn’t the only time I’ve heard comments. It seemed so odd to me though because three isn’t many. I was one of six children. I came from an extended family that all had fairly large families as well. Three seems not to be many in my mind.
I recently read an article defending some reasoning behind only have two children, and though technically and mathematically the authors reasoning seemed to make some sense, for me it left me a little confused. Perhaps because I’m coming from the place where I believe that love multiplies. In my mind, love isn’t something that you put on a table and slice a piece off for each person that you decide to love. Love is something that grows bigger to suit situations. If you are willing to cooperate! That’s the key– cooperation.
Large families (healthy large families) learn to love one another and cooperate in life. 2 year old Susie has a dirty diaper. Mom’s busy making dinner for the family of 6. 12 year old Billy is just reading a book. Mom asks Billy to help her by changing the diaper so that she doesn’t have to turn off the stove and make everyone wait longer for dinner. Billy changes the diaper out of love and respect for his mother, and love and respect for Susie so she doesn’t have to suffer in a dirty diaper. It’s not rocket science. Charity begins in the home. We don’t have to be missionaries like Mother Teresa to love in the same way. We’re each a missionary in our own family. Just as Mother Teresa saw peoples limits and tried to help them past them, so I hope my little circus missionaries will also learn their siblings limits and “lift them up” and cooperate in love.
You have to teach love. Love just doesn’t happen. You have to understand it. Once you understand it, there is no limit!
My little “circus” is learning love. It’s a valuable lesson that I hope they take with them all their life. My circus is my joy!