Momlogic's Gillian: I admit it. I have ranted about those "weirdos" with 18 kids. I've sat in judgment, laughing and pointing my finger at the TV -- cackling about those crazy cooks who have all those children that have names that start with the letter J (who does that anyway?!?). I've made fun of their big bus, their homeschooling, Michelle Duggar's crazy hair and Jim Bob's, well, everything. Then I watched an episode of their show "17 Kids and Counting" on TLC and I have to say, I kinda -- wait, no I really -- like them.
Don't get me wrong, I think the excessive amount of children is a little much. And the name thing -- well, that's still kinda creepy. But the family seemed, dare I say it, normal. While it's not a normal life, their story kinda inspired me. They appear (yes, I know it's reality TV) to genuinely enjoy each other's company. The kids were KIDS -- not obsessed with GameBoys and World of Warcraft, and they played with each other with huge smiles on their faces.
Michelle and Jim Bob seem to really be in love -- obviously they still do it regularly. And their house ran with an eerie efficiency -- like everyone knew their place and pitched in -- happily. I just watched the episode where their 18th baby was born. The entire family picked the new baby's name and the scene was, to put it simply, really sweet. The whole family had an opinion, and they enthusiastically picked the new addition's name. Then they all toured the hospital where Michelle would eventually deliver, and the whole family participated in the experience -- and seemed to really get a lot out of it.
While I still think they're a little off (I can't believe anyone would that many kids), their story made me smile. I admired the love and commitment they have to each other and to their family -- which is way more than I ever got as a kid.
I learned something from you, Duggar family, and even though we'll probably never meet, I want to thank you. You touched my heart today. (Although, Michelle: I still think it's time for a makeover, girl!)