Sunday, February 1, 2009

Big families = Big money

In light of the recent news about the woman having octuplets, in addition to the six that she already has, I have been watching recorded episodes of 17 and Counting - the show about the Duggar family from Arkansas that have 18 children.

Let me say this - I would not normally condone people having enough children to field two baseball teams, but these people seem to really have their act together! I find myself agreeing more and more with their philosophies on life, love and marriage. Granted...I don't see myself tossing out my jeans and sweatpants for long skirts anytime soon, but I do really like how Jim Bob talks about cherishing his wife. He recently gave his about-to-be wed son some advice on listening to women - he said that oftentimes women focus on the details of something and it might take awhile to get to the real point of a story. But he told his son to be patient and listen because it is something that is important to his wife and he should honor that. I like that idea - the concept that even though it might not be of terrible importance to my future spouse, it's important to me and therefore he should honor that.

BUT...a recent episode really bothered me. It was somewhat reticent of the awful way that I think Jon and Kate pimp out their sextuplets and twins for the media as a cash cow for themselves. And besides...Kate's voice and constant nagging really grates on my nerves. Off topic - back to the puppy mill know as the Duggar family. In the beginning of this certain episode, the family was not only being covered and filmed by the TLC crew, but by a French crew as well. The Duggar's are heading off to the "town store" (also known as the commercial giant Wal-Mart which, like the Duggar's, always seems to have a new branch popping up everytime you turn around) and will be signing books for the general public. They not only sign books, but perform a few Christmas carols as well. All the while, the French and TLC crews are filming and the French director is giving his reasoning for interest in this enormous family. Which he summed up as "Only in America." Despite his earnest, eager smile...I don't think he meant this as a compliment.

From all the episodes of this show that I have watched, I have never gotten the sense that the Duggar parents were pimping out their family in an effort to earn money for themselves. I think that they are genuine people who love the Lord and their children, and who also happen to have opened their lives to the country but not for selfish reasons but because they really want to spread what their family is about. But this eerie scene of them in their outdated long, bushy haircuts and their religiously worn skirts - it seemed as if they were putting on a show...that they were trying to become that sensational family that everyone has been talking about just so they could earn the cash from the book.

I will admit it. I was disappointed. I was let down. I really respected these people and they way they raise their children. Their kids seem to be polite, intelligent, caring, respectful and funny little people - exactly the type of child I would like to raise. A bit naive per se...but I think that's absolutely acceptable for children. In my line of work, I'm seeing students younger and younger act years older than their numeric age. It is refreshing to see freshly scrubbed faces that actually sound and act appropriately for their age.

I truly do hope that these parents are as honest and virtuous as they appear to be on tv. If not, I really fear for the future of these children.

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