Eight Kids and Happy

Monika und Paul Adler have embarked upon an adventure: they are raising a large family. The parents of eight children between the ages of 3 and 16, they say about themselves: “We are just like any other family - except that we have more children.” Daily life is highly organized. Most of the children play a musical instrument and take part in the competition “Jugend musiziert,” or play competitive sports. “You can't just simply put your children out there in the world, you have to support them too,” say their parents. The Adlers have consciously renounced material luxury, and are content with their apartment, which measures 130 m². For their neighbors and friends, they no longer stand out, but for everyone else, they are known as “the ones with a lot of children.”
Surely it is no accident that in times of crisis, social alienation, and economic insecurity, people long for a return to tranquility and peace, family and security? Despite our society’s striving for individualism, self-fulfillment, and success-oriented behavior, people still regard the large family as an emotionally compelling idea. Perhaps this is partly because in recent decades, the emancipation of women and the reassignment of roles within the modern one- or two-child family has demanded so much of us, and even led to insecurity. Father and mother chafe against one another, each torn between child and career. Every second marriage ends in divorce. Everyday life, with its shared tasks, is far from easy to master. Women conquer the executive suite, while men are expected to play househusband - but only in the rarest of cases does this model actually work. In this context, the large family is fascinating because it calls our attention to the origins of the family - and while few of us desire this version for ourselves, it nonetheless fills us with yearning.
This summer, the Adlers will be taking a trip through Alsace in a houseboat. We will be accompanying them through their daily lives and on their journey as well.

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