Your one of those!

We recently purchased a 12 Passenger Chevy Express 2500 Van.  After mistakingly thinking that we were done having kids, we are now expecting our 6th child (Girls 5, Boys 1).  The old Chevy Venture was no longer going to fit our family.  The family now calls this new van the BASS.  Punk #5  can now be heard saying,  “Look, Mom, there is another BASS.”   If it is big, has the Chevy symbol on its grille, it is a BASS.  The BASS has changed our lives.  The perception of our neighbors, family, and those seeing us on the street has changed.  Has it been a positive or a negative change?

A recent article published in USA Today (6/3/2011 – Census reveals plummeting U.S. Birthrates) gives a prospective on the new Census records.  The article talks about a trend in the US birthrate.

Children, the mainstay of suburbia and residential neighborhoods across the nation for more than a half-century, are fewer and increasingly sparse in many places.

The share of the population under age 18 dropped in 95% of U.S. counties since 2000, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the 2010 Census.

The number of households that have children under age 18 has stayed at 38 million since 2000, despite a 9.7% growth in the U.S. population. As a result, the share of households with children dropped from 36% in 2000 to 33.5%.

There are now more households with dogs (43 million) than children. [Source]

You can take a look at the census numbers in your state or town on the USA interactive census website.  Michigan has had a population drop of 0.6% in the last 10 years, while Utah has had a 23.8% increase.

Momzoo and I have seen a shift in attitude as well.  A few generations back, a family of 6+ kids would be normal (more so in Utah).   But now, everything has changed.  Utah still has a large number of large families, but it is not as common, and even looked down on in some instances.  (Reminds me of a movie I watched once…  Anyone seen Saturdays Warrior?)  We can’t wait to take the BASS out of state, full of kids and pull into a parking lot and have the whole family pile out.  In Utah that would be seen as kinda normal, but out of state….

The other day, we went to Walmart, or Wally World as we call it.   We took the BASS.   We pull into the Walmart parking lot, and found a place to park.   As we were getting out of the BASS,  a group of people sitting in a small car a couple of stalls away noticed us.  They then started to laugh at us as Momzoo (now 6 weeks from her due date) climbed out of the BASS.  I could not help but think.  Were they laughing because Momzoo looked funny getting out of the van, or were they laughing because we were driving a 12 passenger van and Momzoo was pregnant?

Momzoo and I were talking about it the other day.   When you have 2-3 kids, you are considered normal.  If you increase that number to 5, then you have a big family.  But when you announce number 6, you are now “One of those”.   I think that 6 kids is now the social limit for most people.  We have been asked how many kids we have, and when we answer 5 with one on the way, we get a whole new range of comments.   “You know they have birth control these days.”   “You can always say No.”  “You aren’t planning on filling that van with kids are you? (this one was a joke)”…   The list goes on.  I don’t want you to think that all of them are negative comments, but I would say the majority of them are.

Society has gotten to the point where having a large family is not the norm.  I think a lot of this has to do with the progressive movement, global warming (limited resources), and the what is in it for me attitude.  But in restricting the number of kids you have, you also restrict a lot of blessings and joys you can have.

There is nothing like the look on a babies face as it sees the world for the first time.   The smile that one of your children gives you when they look up from sleeping, see that it is you, and knows that everything is ok.  The look of pride on your childs face when they complete a hard task.  The funny lines that kids come up with (The Statue of Delivery).  The hugs and kisses on days that things just don’t work right.  Parents who limit the size of their family are also limiting the amount of joy they could be receiving.  The ability to once again see the world from the eyes of a child.   “Mom, do you see the things I see?”  “Yes,” Mom replies.  “So you just saw that railroad track we went over?”

A few years back when we were starting our family, I think we had one girl and the second one on the way, I was talking to a co-worker.  That co-worker told me he wanted to have second kid, but his wife did not think that she had enough love to give to more than one child.  This made me sad.  Really, do we not have enough faith in God that we can’t love more than one child?   Look at God, he has enough love for all his children, are we not also capable of that given we are all children of God?

A couple of weeks ago, while discussing the BASS with my co-workers, one of them made the comment that is why he is only having three children.  If you have more than three children, you can no longer take your family anywhere in a car.  Really?   Is society so short minded that the size of your family is limited on the convenience of moving them around town?   I have also heard comments about not having more kids because they would not each have their own room.  

Don’t get me wrong, having a lot of kids has its challenges.  One I recently ran into was that 4 of the 5 bicycles had at least one flat tire.  I spent a portion of a morning changing bike tires.  But then again, we had a lot of fun with nine cans of silly string that same day.  

I am proud to be the parent of a large family.   My kids may have to sleep four to a room, and we may hear comments as we all pile out of the BASS, but we also have the joy of being a part of a large family.  You can make comments about the size of my family, rookery, herd, colony, troop, brood, drove, colony, etc..  But remember that I also am a very blessed man, and have great Joy because of that family.