Here’s a story from an issue of Voices for the Unborn. It’s about Mrs. Lucille Dippolito, who knows a lot about large families. She is the happy mother of twenty children! Talking with her, you see a wisdom that counteracts the folly of the Culture of Death.
I’m quoting her: ”I said to people [after having a certain number], ‘I’m retired. I now have one to do the laundry, one to do the baking; they rotate their duties.'”
Mrs. Dippolito realized quickly that many members of the family do not simply mean more work to do, but more to do the work. It also means more to give love, as she explains, When number nineteen came, he got so much love from the family. If he were an only child, he would never have gotten so much love! When you have a large family, the children are getting all kinds of love from their brothers and sisters; and there’s nothing more joyful than a baby.
It’s not size alone, of course, that brings virtue to a family. It’s how the family members see their relationship with each other, and with their daily tasks. The Dippolito family knows the Christian value of work, and how work shapes the human person.
Mrs. Dippolito again says, ”Each child has a responsibility. We butchered our meat; we had a dairy cow. It was a mini-farm on ten acres. A friend once asked us, ‘Is there anything in this house that’s not homemade?’ I sew, but now my kids make my clothes. I give to them, but look what I got back!”
Her attitude stands in sharp contrast to the give your children all they want mentality. She has strong words for this: ”Oh,” she says, “that’s the worst thing you could do! Just providing everything their hearts desire, that’s absolutely wrong. They need to develop their talents. Doing is learning; they have to be doers.”
She speaks of the joy she has in her children: ”Watching them grow, seeing the things that they give back, seeing them become good citizens. My one daughter is a nurse and has helped bring people back to life. Look at the great joys! You watch them take their first step, say their first word. These are things that money can’t buy! The blessings far outweigh the hardships. You know, the world dwells on the hardships. Everything has pain, but also joy with it. You have bitter, but you have sweet. We’re not in heaven yet!”
So the next time you hear someone say, ”Well, two children are more than enough,” maybe pass along the story of Mrs. Dippolito.