Freaked Out Again
Last night on Discovery Health, I got trapped into a train-wreck called “14 Children And Pregnant Again!”. This was the story of the Duggar family, a devout Christian family from Arkansas. Michele, the mom of the tribe, is just about my age – maybe five years older. She has 15 children. She’s had almost one pregnancy a year for the last 16 years.
I’m not sure what about this freaked me out so much. Being the youngest of eight, I always have always felt kind of odd. You know, people always give you a weird look or chortle when you mention how many siblings you have.
Maybe it’s my knee-jerk societal reaction. We’re taught that women aren’t supposed to be “baby factories”, that girls aren’t supposed to be the cooks/cleaners, that our roles are supposed to be less traditional as our society matures. You don’t get more traditional than this family – right down to girls-wear-dresses, boys-wear-pants.
Maybe it’s because I know that none of those kids has a single set of parents. The family is a village. As soon as you’re old enough, you’re charged with rearing your siblings. This weighs more heavily on the older girl sibs, as I have noticed in the larger clans in my family.
Then again, maybe it’s the religion. Something about this glazed-eye Christianity really bugs the crap out of me. I don't know why. Am I a religio-phobe? I hate the ACLU's crusade to rid the public of Christian paraphenalia. I've known lots of folks who put the Lord first in their lives, and though I don't pretend to understand, I certainly respect their right to do so.
Do I support the Duggars right to have 25 kids if they so choose? Absolutely. But watching a special on them really, really freaked me out. Any amateur psycho-analysts want to weigh in here?