The More the Merrier

It is all about sharing the natural joy of life.
by Mark Thelen, LC | Source:
At the birthday parties, maybe (more presents). In a club, okay – It makes the whole thing more important. But us on vacation – more expensive. In a family – more worries, more concerns… more love.
Today it’s beginning to look like the philosophy of the less the merrier.

We often walk through the streets where there are more pets than children. Families are shrinking from ten, eight, or six, to four, three, even one. More have children out of wedlock and others, who have them, don’t end up caring for them. But the Good News is that this isn’t all true.


As I hurried across Piazza Navona, downtown Rome, my eyes darted to every visible sign on the surrounding buildings. Where was the pizzeria? I was supposed to meet some acquaintances, and I couldn’t figure out where it was. As I neared the corner, I spotted it.

I opened the door to a modern, linear interior and proceeded down the black, metal spiral-staircase to a bright white room with wooden floor. Before I could see anyone I could hear them. With almost ten small children, it was hard not to. A small group of adults sat at the center of the long table, and to the sides were many small children – most likely more than were ever seen together outside of nursery school.

Bobby was running this way. Susie was tugging on her brother’s little shirt. Mary was yelling for mommy. It was hard to figure out what was going on. You would have expected some grumpy grown-ups with so much hassle to attend to. Yet quite the contrary!

As I sat down next to Bill, Uncle Jerry went over to play with the kids – throwing one up on his shoulders, taking another by the hand, and entertaining them all. Pretty soon everyone was happy. The joy and kindness was amazing.

Not only did every one of the four families have two or more young children. They were on vacation, and very happy about the whole situation. Happiness wasn’t getting away from the little ones. It was… rather keeping them happy, teaching them things, and loving them.

The O’Connor’s are different from most. They understand what it means to have a family and a big one at that. It wasn’t about making sacrifices so big they make life miserable. It is all about sharing the natural joy of life with as many as possible, and it’s contagious. Before I ordered my appetizer, I was explaining the finer points of Italian pasta to little Mike. When my pizza arrived I was busy entertaining Bobby with his pacifier.

As soon as I sat down I was part of the family. Yet, it wasn’t a burden but a joy.

For the more, the merrier.

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