Saturday, May 3, 2008

Babies

Catholics like babies. No, scratch that – Catholics love babies. It’s not that Catholics love babies more than other religious denominations, it’s that they like having as many babies as possible in accordance to the number that God is willing to bestow upon the family. Though the US average of babies per household is 2.1, it is not uncommon to find Catholic families whose number of babies in their home supersedes the national average.

This, being better than average, Catholic mentality towards babies can be troublesome for some Catholics in the US as it is deemed acceptable in America to have 1,2, or 3 babies. The ideal for Americans is to reproduce themselves in their baby making efforts where one baby is female and the other is male. Thus modeling their babies after themselves: one for the husband and one for the wife. The 2-baby US mentality is illustrated in the common phrase that comes from the mouths of married couples everywhere: “We want an Adam and Eve.”

Though it is not looked down upon if a family has a third baby, it is normally not encouraged. A fourth baby is acceptable for Catholics in that Catholics, with their anti-contraceptive and pro-life views, are seen as unenlightened and uninformed to the ways of modern people. So a fourth child is considered forgivable based on the Catholic’s ignorance to modern ways and behaviors.

However, if a Catholic family has 5, 6, 7 or more babies, it is seen as a crime against nature and a sin against humanity. In fact, countless Catholic mothers, who have 5 or more babies, have often received flabbergasted looks after having responded “yes” to the question “Are all these yours?” This encounter normally occurs in public places such as supermarkets, department stores, malls, or any other place that makes it difficult for the mother to keep track of every behavioral happening of her babies. The question “Are all these yours?” commonly follows when another person sees a Catholic mother who, with two shopping carts spilling over with groceries, without makeup on, and hair is tied in a pony tail, has one baby in her arms, another in the shopping cart, a third gripped tightly in one hand, the fourth baby clinging dearly to his mother’s dress, while the fifth baby has just knocked an entire shelf of canned peas onto the floor, which by chance startled the baby in the mother’s arms causing him or her to wail like a banshee. She will unjustly be labeled a ‘bad mother’ by outsiders for not having the grace of being born with 5 arms.



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