America and the ‘1.3 child family’
If you’ve read our blog very long you already know how we feel about children. They are a gift – one to be received as such with no exceptions. The disintegration of the American family can be chalked up to a myriad of reasons but I believe one of those core reasons to be our perspective on children. Our nation as a whole has embraced, especially since the 60’s, a mentality that says: “Children are a liability. They are a burden to bear. They are an obligation. They are an expense. They are an inconvenience…and so on”.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m not at all, never will, saying that all families should have a multitude of children. That is an intensely personal and spiritual decision. I am however saying that the way we respond to the small people in our life (be them our own or others) should leave them feeling cherished, valuable and significant.
Not just because it sounds good – but because they truly are.
Tonight when I watched Rylee and a new friend on her soccer team chatting it up, I was happy watching them together and wondered what they were talking about with such expression. After practice was over and we were playing at the park, I asked her what they’d been talking about so much. She said “Mom, she just kept saying the SAME thing over and over and over!”
I empathized with her obvious frustration and reminded her of her own persistence at times.
Then I asked what the girl had said. Her answer blew me away and instant tears welled up in my eyes.
Rylee explained what the girl had been saying:
“Well Mama, she kept saying ‘Your mom has too many kids, your mom has too many kids, your mom has too many kids’! I asked her to stop again and again and she kept saying the same thing. She told me ‘Your mom has so many kids she really should sell you. She should sell at least two of you. My mom has 2 kids and that’s enough.’ It made me really sad Mama.”
Just typing the words makes my heart hurt. I realize everyone has their own ideas and opinions on the matter. Which is fine. But when they imprint those ideas on the hearts of their children who in turn share those words with my children….I don’t know what to say.
My children are used to people saying “Wow, you’ve got your hands full!” or “You can always duct tape them to the walls and leave them at home” or “You must be crazy, four kids?”. But to hear those sentiments from a peer had a whole different impact.
Off to snuggle wet heads and read bedtime stories. Just with a little heavier heart than usual.