Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How can there be too many children?

"How can there be too many children? That is like saying that there are too many flowers." Mother Teresa

Children are darling. Nothing beats a toothless grin from your chubby infant, tossing a baseball with your son, dancing with your daughter on the top of your feet, or oohing and ahhing over the beloved Mother's Day handprint. Those are the things dreams are made of. Sometimes, when my children are doing something especially sweet, I will close my eyes as tight as I can and will myself to burn the image of them in my head, in the depths of my memory way down into my subconscious, so that when I am old, if God forbid my memory is ravaged by Alzheimer's, I will be able to remember precious moments of my children's childhoods. I love my children with every ounce of my soul, ever fiber of my being. But when I envision my family, I see enough to play a board game, not enough to start our own baseball team.

There is a woman in my community that has seven children, aged 11 and under. And she repeatedly states that she doesn't know if they are "done yet".

Seven. Forget the fact that I can't imagine having seven children, which is a higher ratio that day care centers allow for some age groups of children. Forget the fact that when I even think of having seven children at my feet all day, I hear circus music in my head. The fact that strikes me the hardest is that having seven children would be expensive. Call me selfish, but I like the comfortable lifestyle that we live: nice vacations a few weeks a year, new cars, college savings accounts for our boys and our nephews, well funded retirement accounts for ourselves, a nice fluffy savings account. We may have worries, but they don't include our finances. I have often said that we are luckier than most, but the truth of the matter is, we work hard for what we have, and luck is only part of it. We debate the likelihood of having a third little one in the near future (and whether or not we will, who knows, the answer changes daily), but neither of us has any desire to go beyond that number. And besides the desire to save my sanity, the desire to preserve our monetary wealth is right up there at the top of the motivators to keep our family small.

Sure, there are ways to raise your kids on the cheap, and I've heard a lot of them (none of them appeal to me). I've heard that you can use the same cloth diapers for a whole litter of kids. I've heard that you can spend hours clipping coupons to save a chunk of cash at the grocery store (although I don't know where in the hell you'd find the time to clip coupons, let alone grocery shop, with a half dozen kids clamoring for your attention). Obviously, things like breastfeeding, and buying clothes used would be helpful. But, still, no matter how you slice it- the more children you have, the larger the financial sacrifice you will make. Some people are willing to live a less extravagant lifestyle in favor of a house full of children. The sound of children's voices and cries is like music to their ears. I think that is lovely. If you have a crew of kids, I'd hope that you really, really love them. Either that, or that you get some good drugs from your doctor to help pretend that you do. Those are fragile human lives that you are entrusted with, after all.

Here's the clincher about this woman though... She and her brood are on public assistance.

Yep, that's right.  You and I and everyone else are paying for this woman and her husband to have as many children as they see fit.  She sees it as rather convenient.  I see it as rather disgusting. And I'm not shy-- I said as much, to her face.

Medicaid, WIC, ADC, Section 8 housing, ALL of these examples of government "aid" are nothing short of THEFT.  Taking from my family to provide for other families.  Families that I have no input into the size of, morals of, or education of. Families whom I may or may not even know. And that is disgusting.

So, "How" can there be too many children?  That's easy:  There are too many children when you can't afford to PERSONALLY pay for their birth, medical care, food, clothing, shelter and security BY YOURSELF, and instead need to steal from me to do it.

Even dogs can breed litters of babies.  Doing so as a human doesn't make us a superior species.