Catholic Free Press (for June 15, 2011)
Scholarly opinions that big families are wasteful because they drive big vehicles are flawed because they fail to consider the full scenario of life in a large family. Our scenario in our SUV which proudly bears the bumper sticker “Life is Precious” is similar to other large families we know. We average about 75 gallons of fuel/person/year in our truck. Someone who commutes 20 miles to work carpooling with three other people in a car that gets 30 miles to the gallon uses more fuel, and will add two vehicles to future landfills to move as many people. Public transportation is based on the same concept of conservation, only our vehicle is often full, only goes where it needs to go and the driver loves the passengers.
We can go to Mass together, and except for school we mostly stay home because we like being at home. We can buy in bulk and cook our own meals so we have very little trash, consistently one single bag each week even when we had three babies in diapers. We fully depreciate our assets and everything gets well used. We don’t need to buy many toys and the little sisters are thrilled when the bigger sisters pass down their clothes. To them, that’s love. We are fortunate, but the point is, big families are not wasteful. If anything they have to live simply and that’s wonderful because instead of fussing over material things, we learn to appreciate each other. I didn’t really understand that until I lived it.
Our vehicle is a symbol of unity too. We ride tall and we ride together, full of life, strong and lasting. Seven years ago it was a gift from my husband to keep us safe because we are everything to him. Once a convertible rear-ended us and totaled itself, but not a single one of the three dozen eggs in the back, nor a toddler’s nap, was broken. We’ve laughed and, admittedly, screamed; and I’ve lectured to my heart’s delight to subjected strapped-down kids behind me. That truck, dings and all, is part of our family history and we won’t trade it in for something shiny and new because it gets older. We have lived preciously and the Miraculous Medal on the visor reminds us why we do everything we do. When it no longer runs, if that day ever comes, we’ll probably mount it in the backyard like a trophy until the kids bury me in it.
|The Christmas Angel motherload for
YWCA Young Parent’s Program (2006)
|Washing Mommy’s truck (2006)|
Category: Catholic Free Press