Large family movies are sort of a theme, recently. The Cheaper by the Dozen Series. Mine, Yours and Ours. I found the first one amusing. Cummon, who wouldn’t find—“Good job, FedEx!”—who wouldn’t find that funny? But the second one, became a bit routine. And the third was downright ridiculous. I mean seriously. I’m sure everyone knows that big families don’t really have that much drama happening 24/7. Actually, no...you might not know that, because large families are a rarity and you’ve perhaps not seen a large family not operate that way. And even though you are intelligent, gentle reader, the big screen certainly has vivid emotional appeal—one’s brain plays tricks on you—if you see it, you believe it myoticly. So allow me to disagree with the god of this world.
First, allow me to agree with the big screen. Yes, if a parent or parents would raise their 5+ children as though they were all an only child around which the world revolves—yes, one would have a cheaper by the dozen scenario. But, thank God, most parents (and children) of large families figure it out, it’s much more productive and efficient and beautiful, actually—to work in a team, instead of each for the self as is demonstrated quite well in the mentioned films. A large brood of children, having experienced mutuality and daily life as a common goal toward a common purpose, is a distinctly powerful force in society—unless one enjoys extreme individualism. And we all do by virtue of the fact that we’re willingly and unwillingly subjected to the propaganda.
May I just say that I am grateful for the skills and experience that have been bestowed upon me by virtue of being a part of a family of 10. Do you have any idea how quickly a family of 10 can prepare food, set the table, eat, clear the table and wash the dishes. It’s beautiful and works like a well oiled machine. Over the past two holidays, I sat back and enjoyed the production, while at my post making the mashed potatoes. Sister 5 is setting the table while brother 4 is following her drippling silverware in their general spot around a large table, while playfighting with her incessantly. Mom heaps the food into bowls that magically appear on the counter, as I notice she is ready for them and find them in the cupboard above me. Sister 4 reaches for a spoon and sister 5 magically understands what she is reaching for and places it in her hand.
I wish my district meetings would work as smoothly. I wish I could organize work projects where at least half the people that showed up would have a sense of personal identity and their unique role toward the end goal. Cheaper by the Dozen, very humorously and very erroneously portrays every child is a rescue mission, an accident waiting to happen, a power out for him/herself and an unquenchable force working against the peace and harmony of the whole. Catastrophes do happen in large families. However, it is my distinct belief that just as many catastrophes happen in smaller families because in the large families each individual subconsciously monitors the health of the family system (the health of the individual depends upon it) and calculates the effect their contribution to an upheaval might bring to the family system. Smaller families have a larger allotted catastrophe contribution quota per capita.