Danielle Bean has written an extremely lovely and charitable reflection on what it means to be pro-life and pro-family. After reading it, I began to think of some of the more humorous questions that I’ve been asked when out with the children. The first question is the most frequently asked. If you have a large family, you’ve heard it many times! I can’t count the times we’ve been asked the following (the remaining questions are just as silly!):

Are they all yours? This has to be the most ridiculous question anyone could ask a frazzled mother who is shopping/dining/at the library with several children. Who in their right mind would go to any of the aforementioned places with 6, 7, 8 or 9 children that belong to someone else? My favorite answer: Nah…these aren’t all mine…I left a few at home!

Wow…nine? Don’t you know what’s causing that yet? Yes…as a matter of fact we do! And we LIKE IT!

Do the words “snip, snip” have any meaning to you? Do the words “mortal sin” have any meaning to you? Why would you want to “fix” what ain’t broke?!

Better you than me! I couldn’t agree more!

Boy…you really have your hands full, don’t you? Yes, indeed…my hands are full, my van is full, my laundry room is full, but much more importantly, my heart is full!

Your husband must have a really good job… As father and provider of this large family, he does, but not as good God’s job as Father and Provider. Somehow He never seems to feel He’s not up to providing for all of His children…

NFP is 99% effective, you know. What’s the problem? It’s only effective if you use it. We don’t. I’ve not managed to find anything in doctrine, dogma, tradition or the Catechism that proclaims that we must use NFP to be responsible parents or to have a sacramental marriage. Call us providentialists…I don’t have a problem with NFP…I just lack sufficiently grave reasons for using it. If I trusted my own definition of grave, we wouldn’t have our last three children…

How will you ever afford college? How will you? Somehow, on a very limited income, our first three children have all managed to go to college in spite of being poor, home educated and members of a large family. Uncanny, isn’t it?

Where do you put them all? Well…we had thought about hooks on the wall, but decided bunk beds were a bit more comfortable:) It’s always interesting to note that our home is full of people, but it doesn’t seem that way to us. Right now, all of them are in the living room. It doesn’t seem overly full to me. But that’s just me…

Let me guess. You’re Catholic… And proud of it! Proud that you would assume a generous nature and trust in God’s Providence are good indicators that I’m Catholic…

Haven’t you heard of “overpopulation?” Oh…that myth. Why don’t you do a bit of research. Start here.

You must be rich…The richest woman on earth…I’m surrounded by treasures. They all have names.

Granted, there’s a good deal of sarcasm in the responses. Most of the time, I just smile politely and ignore them. I’ve never seen a couple in public or at Church and thought, “What no children? Do you know what’s causing that? What’s wrong with you? Haven’t you heard of “Be fruitful and multiply?” I can’t imagine leveling that judgment on any family, for any reason.

God’s providence isn’t held bound by any number, large or small. He is calling all of us to trust in Him. How we respond remains an act of our will, not His.