“How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.” – Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
I’ve always liked this quote, which is why, when I saw it on a bumper sticker in a bookstore the other day, I had to grab one for my van. I can think of few more appropriate places to display this than where my own bouquet often scrambles in and out of as I transport them to various destinations. My van is often where I collect my flowers and have them settle in one spot, if only for a short while.
It’s interesting, the comments that come to a mother of a large bouquet, even from strangers. On a multitude of occasions I’ve found the need to defend why I’ve got so many budding blossoms in my vase. What’s frustrating about this is that raising a large family is no easy task. It can even be daunting in moments, just as parenting one child can be. I took on the challenge knowing full well there would be sacrifice involved, and I don’t seek pity, but a kind, encouraging word can go a long way. I try to offer the same whenever I see a mother of any size bouquet struggling.
We can look at the vase as half full or half empty. Before I began collecting flowers into my fold, someone told me people who have large families are selfish because they suck up all the resources. We do deplete a lot of resources in our home, it’s true. However, I choose to view all of my children as possibilities that might someday go out into the world and bring about positive changes. If I should be so lucky as to have all five of my flowers spread their goodness to others, that in turn will affect everyone they meet, creating even more color, more fragrance, and on and on. Their existence, then, will not hamper but bless the world. Even now, while they are still near, I believe this to be true. Even in their imperfect moments they are petals of potential.
Yes, I quite like the image of my children, and all children, as flowers. And I don’t mean to say one must have gobs of children to make the world a better place. You do the best cultivating whatever number you’ve been given, and then you release them to the world and pray that they’ll yield a bountiful harvest. The point is that each child, each flower, is as priceless as the next and has the potential to become someone who can make the world a better place.