Annie's Mailbox : Sunday, June 5 2005
Dear Annie: I'd like to respond to "Mama of Four in San Francisco," who was annoyed because people kept asking when she was going to STOP having children. I am the father of six. Over the years, we have received many comments regarding the size of our family, ranging from surprise to horror. When we were expecting our fourth, people thought telling us how foolish we were would keep us from doing it again. With the fifth, they decided we were nearing insanity. With the sixth child, they felt we were beyond salvage and gave up. One summer evening, we took our crew into a small ice-cream parlor. Two older women walked in, took one look at us and asked if we were a day care center.
When people say, "Don't you think it's time to get that fixed?" I respond, "Why? It seems to be working really well."
The joys of having a large family FAR outweigh the costs. We're like a party waiting to happen. -- Richly Blessed in Indiana
Dear Indiana: Most of our readers with large families agreed. Read on:
From the Midwest: My mother said she had so many kids because of her poor hearing. Whenever my parents would retire for the night, my dad would ask, "So, do you want to go to sleep, or what?" and Mom would always answer, "What?"
New York: When people ask when they will stop having children, she should tell them they'll stop when they can figure out where they are coming from. Sarasota, Fla.: I'll stop having kids when my libido slows down, and my oldest child's kicks in and gives me grandchildren.
Los Angeles: My reply is, "Who knows? We're only halfway through the Kama Sutra."
Ontario, Canada: When I have enough for a hockey team.
Tampa, Fla.: When I go through menopause.
Midwest: When my pediatrician finished checking my fifth newborn, he said, "You've got another beautiful baby. Are you done?" I said, "If the world is going to be overpopulated, it may as well have more beautiful people, and they might as well be mine!"
Flushing, Mich.: I would tell people it took the first four kids to figure out what was causing it, and the last one just to be sure we were on the right track.
Hershey, Pa.: Following the birth of our third child, an acquaintance asked me how many children we planned on having. I smiled, looked her in the eye, and replied, "Two." The questions were never as personal after that.
Texas: I have been asked several times why I would want to bring children into this cruel, harsh world. My response is that the world may be filled with a lot of bad people, but wouldn't it be better if we start making some good people for a change? I know my children taught me so much, and now I am a better person because of them.
Ohio: After our fourth child, I was amazed how many people thought they were witty by asking, "You know what's causing this, right?" I told them, "I'm pretty sure it has something to do with sneezing. Every time I sneeze, someone says, 'God bless you,' and He does -- again."
Claremont, Calif.: I say, "Thanks, we're just trying to raise the world's average IQ."
Ohio: When someone asks a friend (now pregnant with her eighth), "Aren't you done having children?" she responds, "Not until I have an ugly one."
Michigan: When a young couple asked how we could stand to have so many kids, I replied, "Which ones would you like me to send back?"