Kiddies are much maligned these days, aren’t they? Of all the charges laid at their feet, I must say that I hear “they cost too much” more often than most of the other excuses for couples choosing not to have more than the prescribed 2.7 children. My generous parents have ten children, eight of whom are still living. Among those eight babies all grown up now, one is a teacher and a disc jockey, one is a mechanic, one is (almost) an electrician, one is in youth ministry, one is (almost) an engineer, one is a hair stylist, one works in robotics as a technician and I work with students at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy. We are musical, have dabbled in writing, woodworking, electronics, painting, home renovations, love the outdoors, and several are pretty athletic. The spouses of the married siblings add a whole other realm of talents to the family, like my husband who is studying to be a social worker, and my sister in law who has a masters in something of a geological/water-conservational nature.
So in essence, my parents’ philosophies and love of God is being disseminated slowly but surely throughout our community. We are moulding young minds, fixing your cars, teaching your young adults, doing your hair, playing on your baseball team, putting together your robotic vacuum cleaner and playing music for your wedding. Soon we’ll be wiring your light fixtures and hard wiring your solar panels. From the standpoint of evangelization – we are kicking some serious anti-religious butt by just being who we are and working in the world!!
But let’s forget about the religious element for just one second and talk economics. How much do you suppose we pay yearly for haircuts these days? Or to have the car brakes fixed? Or to have a wall painting touched up? Or to have the well inspected? What about DJ services? Or to have people put a roof on the house, move stuff from one home to another, babysit, dog-sit, fix the wires in the wall that were cut accidentally? Next to nothing…for all of that, and I’m not exaggerating. Sure, there are some costs associated with the purchase of the raw materials, ie. the actual brake pads, but for services like my brother the DJ, everything is already bought and paid for – other than a small token of thanks, we usually have a full night of music set up and taken down for nothing.
So the next time you’re thinking about having another child, and you’re thinking about how much the formula is going to cost you, think about this babe’s expansive potential, all of the dreams this ‘twinkle in your eye’ will actually realize – and down the road when you’re the mom or dad to the next Bill Gates or Prime Minister, maybe you will look back on that moment so far away when buying diapers was a real hardship and thank God for giving you the courage to accept another child. So save money and have more children!
**PS. I am in no way belittling those who truly struggle with making ends meet, for whom having another child would be a true hardship. Poverty is a real problem especially within families with one stay at home parent – and thankfully the Church allows each couple to discern the Holy Spirit’s Will for their lives. I don’t wish to encourage deeper financial poverty, only to refute statements I’ve heard said by those I know to be well-off financially.**
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