Their situation is a common experience for large families. Perfect strangers showing visible incredulity or disgust, intentionally making condescending remarks within earshot, or coming up and boldly asking inappropriate questions. I should qualify my statement: It is a common experience for white families. I doubt too many large black or Muslim families hear these remarks (although other things are probably said behind their backs). I suspect that those who make such remarks are intimidated and angered that couples of their own generation, racial group and cultural background are not following the contemporary norm for families: 0, 1, 2 or 3 children. The hypocrisy of this faned shock is that many of my generation grew up in large families or had relatives or friends who did. We have such things before, often lived it firsthand. We simply pretend it is foreign and unbelievable.
- Fr Elijah