I Have A Say Thanks to My Mom and Dad!!!

Being the oldest of 11, I am so thankful, especially now, for my Mom and Dad saying "yes" to life! Growing up, we never had a ton of money. My Dad was a high school chemistry teacher and my parents decided from the beginning that they wanted to have one of them home with us. My mom gave up her teaching career, and raised me, followed by 10 others! My Mom also taught all 11 of us at home for part of our childhood before we would head off to Nativity Catholic Grade School. My Dad worked long hours, eventually earning other degrees so that he could first become dean, then principal, and finally, when I was a sophomore, he was named Roncalli High School's first president. My Dad and Mom both sacrificed SO MUCH for us.

I remember, even as a young person, getting stared at by people, and I remember the comments they would make. I can still hear a dental receptionist asking my Mom "Are these all yours? You know how children are made right?" followed by a real insidious but ditzy chuckle, followed by a secretarial gum crackle. My Mom and Dad were always tight budget wise, and I'm sure at times ached with a desire to not have to take bags of clothes from other families so that we could have clothes. I'm sure my Mom and Dad had desires to simply go to Nordstrom and buy us and give us all our own new clothes and Gameboys and Reebok Pumps etc. I'm sure they at times really wished they could just get a new car and not have to drive a fifteen passenger van around. I'm sure at times they wanted really badly to just go to a restaurant and sit back and enjoy a big expensive meal instead of having to cut coupons and craft together economic meals on the stove.

But they chose life for us, and they chose sacrifice for themselves.

I often think about that ditzy secretary now when our family gets together almost every weekend for dinner to laugh and hang out. Some of the siblings might be out of town or busy with other obligations, but inevitably, all weekend long, every weekend, our family gets together. Sometimes, when we're out at a restaraunt, I see the couples who are alone with each other. They hardly talk to each other and the loneliness is palpable. A part of me feels bad that we're having so much fun with our 8 tables shoved together, telling stories, laughing good hearty and healthy laughs. Sometimes I wonder if one of the couples sitting in the restaurant quietly and solemnly is that dental secretary - who now has piles of money and can eat wherever she wants, but doesn't have hardly anyone to share it with. My heart breaks for the people who are alone, especially the ones who are alone because, when they could have been having children, they instead bought into the contraception lie and lived for themselves only.

I have a say today, and so do my ten younger brothers and sisters, because my parents chose life. Mom and Dad - thanks a million!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Theresa Thomas, Mother of 9 on Earth and 5 in Heaven!

Oldest of 13, Mother of 9 on Earth, five in heaven

I have a say because my parents were unselfish, dedicated and valued life above material goods. The greatest gift to me as a child were my 12 other brothers and sisters. Having many siblings benefits children in many ways- they learn to share, they learn compassion, they learn to be unselfish and to work in a team for the good of others. In fact, large families are an antidote to selfishness, as their members learn to give and accept respect in so many intimate ways. This naturally spills out into society and makes it better. In a large family, no one gets the constant limelight so children learn to support others’ gifts and talents, and know when the time comes for their personal victories they have an audience of support and love for them.

I grew up in a family that also took in foster children- infants from the time they were born until they could be placed with adoptive families. This experience grew our family’s heart as well. College aged kids got up in the middle of the night to tend to the babies so Mom could rest on occasion, and the younger children learned to think outside themselves by sharing their toys and times with the little ones. Our youngest brother came to our family first as a foster child.

My own large family of nine has blessed my husband and me in many ways. God has invited me to be a better person through raising my children. I can’t imagine my life without them, and when I think about it deliberately, I am reduced to tears of thanksgiving for their presence in my life.

So many married women reject motherhood for a career, or willingly leave their children to find "fulfillment, excitement, money and power" in the workplace, but the real fulfillment comes from forming a human person- day to day formation of and sacrifice for another living human being- and not just any- your child.

The excitement is knowing he will go out in the world knowledgeable in truth and wisdom and contribute to society in positive ways, and exhibit virtue and goodness and character.

The reward is not money- it is something greater that you can take with you to heaven- your children and relationship with them.

Real power is being able to influence your child's mind, his thoughts words, intellect, talents and gifts, spirit and soul... And, in this very personal powerful way, to influence the world- generous mothers influence the world FAR more than any policy makers, legislators, diplomats and presidents-through the individual people they help form.

I have a say because my parents had a say, and they said with a loud and united voice, “YES!” to life!

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