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I Love Large, Homeschooling Families

by aquinasandmore on May 31, 2007

If you have absolutely nothing to do for a while, and you feel like getting fired up, I recommend reading the prequel to this post, here.

"I Hate Large, Homeschooling Families" is, I think by far, the most read and answered post ever on this blog. I hope Ian doesn't mind my using his title to tell a small story.

I come from a large, homeschooling family, and I certainly wasn't offended reading Ian's post, even though I know that I'm guilty (a few times, as a child) of some of the things that Ian would use as examples for his point. In my parents' defense, I will say that as far as behaving in public went, I never got away with anything (that they knew about).

Now I'm a little older, and I enjoy seeing large families around; they remind me of my childhood. I came across just such a family today, as I prepared to enter the drive-through lane of the Taco Bell close to the store here. The family was in a big, gray Chevy Astro. From my point of view, they got to the drive-through just before I did, so I motioned for them to go first. I noticed just after pulling in behind them that there were a couple decals on the rear window - one of a couple children kneeling and praying before a cross (I see these often now), and the other proudly proclaiming that they are "Jesus Freaks".

I envisioned myself in my head just then getting out of my car for a second to ask them if they were Catholic, but I decided against it. The driver was a woman, and I might've scared them doing that. Now I wish I did, because when I pulled up to the window to pay for and get my food, I was informed that the people in front of me paid for my meal; their reason for doing so was because I let them go before me. So in the end I learned that if they weren't Catholic, they were at least good Christians, which are hard to find these days, even among Catholics.

The best reason that I can come up with for this surprising action is that they wanted to reward a tiny act of kindness, and in so doing help cultivate a spirit of charity. After I left Taco Bell with my food, I looked around a little for that vehicle so I could thank them, but I didn't spot them again. So this is me saying thank you, and trying to make the most of their generosity by sharing the experience with our readers.
Ethan

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

kitty May 31, 2007 at 9:39 pm

That’s really nice, Ethan! I hope you get to meet that family in Heaven some day.

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Ben June 1, 2007 at 6:47 am

That is a great story.

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Judy June 4, 2007 at 3:47 am

As the mom of a medium-sized homeschooling family (5 kids so far), I hope my children are not doing the things Ian mentioned. Thank you for the story, Ethan. You reminded me of someone I promised myself I would pray for regularly, but had forgotten in the past few months. Once at the end of a long driving vacation through California, we stopped for dinner in The Dalles, Oregon at a restaurant called Cousins. At the end of our meal (remember there are 7 of us!), the waitress informed us that someone in the restaurant had enjoyed watching our family so much that they had paid for our meal. What a surprise and grace for us! Those acts of kindness are not forgotten. I hope we will be able to thank that person someday for the lovely end to our family vacation. And someday, my husband and I hope to be in the position to do the same for some other family. That lovely person or persons are back in our prayer list, not to be left off again.

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theWhiteStoneNameSeeker June 4, 2007 at 7:57 am

Been thinking about these questions for a long time.
We seeem to be very visable in our neighbourhood because we have six children and that’s considered outrageous.
I am so sensitive about the way the children behave and insist on good manners so on.
I’ve blogged-rather badly-on it.

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Theresa July 29, 2008 at 4:42 am

My family is smaller due to situations beyond my control and we are a homeschooling Catholic family but I grew up in a large Protestant family of 8 kids and personally when I see large families it brings back good memories. I have never met a large family with ill behaved children. Indeed it has always been the small families especially the ‘only’ child ones that I see behaving badly.
J.M.J.
Theresa

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