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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The moonbats go after large families

As a father of eight children (go look at my profile) bli ayin hara (warding off evil eyes) I was somewhat bemused to read this post by Rick Moran at Right Wing Nuthouse in which he goes after the eco-terrorizers who claim that having more than two children ought to be a misdemeanor.

Although this is a bit off topic for this blog's normal fare, I thought that Rick's post (from the perspective of being one of ten children) deserved some comment from a parent's perspective.

I'm the oldest of two children and my wife is the youngest of five, so neither of us grew up in quite this large a family. And although the question of how many children we 'wanted' was never really discussed while we were dating, I really didn't expect to have more than five or six. But as the Yiddish saying goes - a mentch tracht un Got lacht (man thinks and God laughs) and here we are with eight of them.

Each child is his or her own amazing independent person and the people at work in New York who told me after the second child - a boy - that I now had the 'perfect family' (one daughter and one son) were dead wrong as far as I am concerned.

What is unusual about our family just about every place except Israel is that we live in a neighborhood where having eight children makes us merely average - and maybe even a bit below average. We don't see or hear (except in the media) people commenting about how we are so irresponsible for having so many children. The neighbors across the hall just had twins - numbers 7 and 8 - although their oldest child is only 16. Ours is 23 (see the profile again).

How are our kids different from kids who grow up in smaller families? For starters, the five oldest kids are much more responsible and mature than kids who don't have to be responsible for much younger siblings. Each of them was ready to be left in charge of their younger siblings by the time they were aged 11 or 12 (for the record, number 5 will be 13 in July and number 6 will be 8 later in July, but we only celebrate the Jewish dates for their birthdays, so I'd have to look at the calendar to tell you exactly when). The four oldest children - and probably the fifth one with nominal supervision - are capable of preparing an entire set of Sabbath meals for the entire family plus assorted guests. In fact, when Chezky was born, our eldest daughter prepared the festive Shavuot meal for forty guests who ate in our house after his circumcision; Mrs. Carl was in a 'Mother and Child Convalescent Home' recuperating from the delivery and birth and didn't come home until right before the holiday (and returned to the 'Home' immediately afterwards).

Our children are probably less spoiled than their peers. Except for the eldest, none of them has ever had their own bedroom (although number 2 currently sleeps in my 'office' when he comes home). Until they are teenagers, most of their clothes are hand-me-downs with varying degrees of previous use, so they're not used to having the latest and greatest styles bought for them - and certainly not at retail prices. Each of them is a strong personality - they have to have one to garner attention. I believe that each of them has leadership potential.

Stop after two kids? And let the gene pool be dominated by lesser lights? No way!


At 8:10 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Secular Blasphemy has a good rebuttal.


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