And, No, This Is Not From <em>The Onion</em>

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

And, No, This Is Not From The Onion

I grew up in a family of six kids. I always thought of our family as large. But not quite as large as this one. Courtesy of the Associated Press:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Michelle Duggar just delivered her 16th child, and she's already thinking about doing it again.

Johannah Faith Duggar was born at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday .... The baby's father, Jim Bob Duggar, a former state representative, said Wednesday that mother and child were doing well. He said Johannah's birth was especially exciting because it was the first time in eight years the family has had a girl.

Jim Bob Duggar, 40, said he and Michelle, 39, want more children.

"We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them," he said.
Mr. Duggar says he considers each of his 16 children to be "a blessing," and I take him at his word. But there are only so many hours in a day for he and his wife to share among their 16 kids.

Has it occurred to Duggar and his wife that having this many children means he and his wife are unlikely to pick up on many of the emotional, learning or psychological difficulties that each of these children may confront?

Apparently not. According to the AP story, Duggar is planning to seek election to a state Senate seat -- not exactly the kind of job that leaves evenings free and accommodates the awesome responsibility of raising 16 children.

Of course, it's also possible that Mr. Duggar isn't like most fathers. He may subscribe to certain fundamentalist religious views that declare it appropriate -- even Godly -- to leave the child-rearing duty for 16 kids almost exclusively to his wife.

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