Friday my parents and grandparents came to meet Baby Quinn for the first time. My grandpa took us all out to Cracker Barrel for dinner.
While we all chatted and waited for our food, I propped baby up on my shoulder to burp. The table behind me erupted in oohs and aahs and baby talk.
“Awwww. How old?”
“Almost 2 weeks.”
“ohhhh! And are these two little princesses yours too? How old are they?”
“Yep, they’re our big helpers. Giacinta is four. Philomena is two. And this handsome little guy is Quinn.”
“Two girls and a boy! So sweet!”
Then it happened. My 3rd isn’t even 2 weeks old yet, and I get THE QUESTION.
“So, are you done now?”
“Oh no!” I smile at the lady. “We’re hoping for at least six or seven.”
Their whole party is floored.
Just a few minutes later, my 2-year-old takes the lid off her water to get the ice, and spills it all over. No big deal. We’re cleaning her up when our new friend asks “And you’re sure you want 3 or 4 MORE!?”
Now, she was a very sweet lady and wasn’t trying to be rude or snarky, so I just smiled.
But something about her question really rubbed me wrong. Is a spilled cup of water really a reason for a whole person to never exist? Because that’s what we’re talking about here. That’s what’s on the line.
Deciding to prevent or space out a pregnancy is a decision to not let someone exist. And from a Christian perspective, one less immortal soul designed for sainthood.
And that is not something to take lightly.
Now, there are absolutely very valid reasons to decide not to get pregnant. Being physically or emotionally unhealthy. Being genuinely unable to feed extra mouths. Being on the middle of a big life change. Having an older child who is high needs and demands all of your care right now. These are very real reasons to decide against another baby right now.
But a spilled water?
We don’t respect children as real people. They are valued only for their ability to meet our needs. Consumable goods. We want children only when it is the most convenient to us, only when we are ready for a baby in our lives. We want only our “perfect” number of children, however many we see as bringing us the most fulfillment without being “too many.”
We want. We don’t want. Our way. Our time. Our needs. All about us.
A baby is not a dog or a cat. They DO NOT exist to meet the needs of their parents. This is the same philosophy that can lead to abuse or neglect. A baby is a real person, to be valued and respected for their own human dignity.
And the natural purpose of human sexuality it to allow more humans to exist.
And I welcome every water cup that has yet to spill. 🙂