(I know the 'largish' family shtick is wearing a little thin. :) I didn't actually plan to make it a series, it just evolved that way. I have a great affinity for large families and I am grateful, happy, and very busy with my eight. However, I know that in the large family world, eight is not really very large. So I am making fun of myself a little by calling us 'largish'. )
Large family fathers are heroic. They go to work with people that drive new cars, take jazzy vacations and go out to lunch every day. Large family fathers drive beaters or mini vans to work. Large family fathers take trips with their children, go on scout camp outs and sleep over night in an uncomfortable chair in the mother baby unit every two years while they hold their newly post-partum wife's hand over the bed rail. That's their exciting get-away. Large family fathers bring their little bag lunch, lovingly packed by their wife. The upside to the bag lunch is that often the co-workers will comment on how good the food looks or smells and wish they had someone who packed them that food. The downside is when the loving wife forgets to pack a lunch, they have to eat off the dollar menu at the fast food joint. Yuck.
Large family fathers come home at night exhausted and still help their children when they are stuck on physics or algebra. They are sports coaches and scout leaders. They pick up and drop off children at various functions. They go to the store for groceries so their wife does not have to load all the little ones in the van in snow and sleet. Or even just because she is tired.
Large family fathers still think they can set their personal things down somewhere and the things won't be disturbed. But they are broken in enough that they don't get upset when the things inevitably are disturbed. Large family fathers are used to looking around the yard for the tool they need. Large family fathers are used to finding a toy in their bed. Or a child. Sometimes both.
Large family fathers lead the family in prayer, even when the toddlers is making it hard. They take their children to confession often and make sure everyone gets out the door for Sunday Mass on time. They try to do these things with encouragement and civility but an occasional bellow is sometimes required. :) When dad bellows, or even commands quietly, the offenders straighten up quickly, it's rather miraculous.
We wives of these men are the most blessed women ever. We would be happy if our sons are like them and our daughters marry men like them. They are servant leaders, not only in their family but in their communities as well. Large family fathers are the salt of the earth. They give God the glory and keep themselves focused on the end goal... to help their family to salvation.