Monday, August 20, 2007

Goood Catholic Families

Last week I was on a business trip and mentioned to a car full of associates that we have six kids. Jaws dropped, eyes widened, air was gasped, the usual. Someone else in the car mentioned growing up with all the "good Catholic families" in their neighborhood having six, seven, or eight kids. A couple of folks mentioned that they or their spouses were Catholic. I didn't mention that I was Catholic, just that I married far above my station (true fact) and that my wife is a saint (so far, so good). I only have one sibling, a sister 19 months younger. We were never really close, so I would often ask my Mom and Dad to have some more kids, hopefully better ones, ones not as "bratty and spoiled," as I saw my sister. Mom would tell me many times that she would have loved to have had more, and then make some excuse as to why she stopped at two. I didn't know until my wife was pregnant that my Mom had gone through tremendous complications to have me and my sister. A high forceps delivery, internal tearing of muscles that I don't feel comfortable mentioning, a baby having emergency surgery at 28 days old to repair an unknown life-threatening birth defect, the death of her father five days before I was born and the mixture of emotions that I would never know him or his abusive tendencies. We have some friends who just had their fourth this year, and that pregnancy nearly killed the mom. She had her tubes tied and plenty else removed shortly later. These are faith-filled Catholics who know that the stroke that came with this child was God's way of saying "that's plenty." The issues my Mom dealt with were God's way of saying "that's plenty." I have a dear friend who has shared in his wife's pain of six miscarriages and no living children. They've given up on asking again for a child. And then I read this really beautiful piece on Good Catholic Families. Thanks Karen. I really need to remember these kinds of things. I take too much pride in the fact that God has blessed us with a vision of many children and then followed it up with no complications. But Good Catholic is as Good Catholic Does, not how many trophies they accumulate. My Mom and Dad having two was faithful and prudent and open and holy.

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