Thursday, June 3, 2010

Is it really so shocking?

Not too many weeks ago I was shocked speechless by a completely unsolicited comment by a random walker-by in the post exchange food court, and this time...well, this comment is just really bothering me. Understand that I've heard "are they all yours?" probably two or three times a DAY when I've got all five of the little girls out in public, and I always answer that with a smile and "well they are all mine, but they're not ALL of mine, I've got two more!"; for the most part, I've only been met with a handful of quasi-negative comments. My girls (well, all of my kids, really, but the girls are the only ones left at home) are pretty well-behaved, and fairly polite in public, and as a result people's comments about the size of our brood are usually encouraging. So when I get a person who will literally stop in her tracks to be ugly toward us, it does catch me offguard.

The girls and I were just sitting there, minding our own business, waiting for Kelsey to get off of work, when an older-ish lady walked up to us and said to me, "Surely you're babysitting for someone, these CAN'T be all of your children!" I replied to her that no, I wasn't babysitting, and no, they weren't all of mine, that I had two more who weren't there, and as her jaw dropped, she just seemed to lose all of her decorum.

Yes, I have seven children.
Yes, as a matter of fact, I am crazy. But crazy works for me.
No, our oldest is a boy.


I couldn't speak. Well, maybe I could have, but it probably would not have been pretty. Or Christian. Something (thank you, Mamaw, for that training...) told me that this was not a woman who wanted to engage in a conversation, she simply wanted to cause a scene--hence the yelling, catching the attention of everyone in the food court. Besides, my girls were there, and I really did NOT want to give them the impression that shock-and-awe displays warranted further attention, so I simply turned my head and went back to tending to my daughters. The lady rambled on for a few more minutes to herself and to Kelsey, who had just walked up, about how she was the oldest of nine and that having that many siblings made her determined not to have ANY children, that she got her tubes tied before she even got married. Kelsey's reply, however....both shocked and thrilled me. The only thing my eldest daughter said in response to this woman's verbal assualt on her family was:

"Well, every one of these girls is a blessing to our family, so it's a wonderful thing we have seven kids in our home."

Is it any wonder I couldn't speak? Shock from every side.

You know what? With kids like mine, I consider myself VERY blessed. I don't regret for one moment having more than the standard two children. Our life with our chaotic little seven-ring-circus is WONDERFUL.

I was browsing through the pictures I just uploaded onto my computer, and it hit me....all these goofy pictures reflect a life that few people are blessed to have. The zaniness my girls bring to our life is like a brilliant orange and pink sunset...God could cause the sun to set without any flair at all, without any color and without bringing any attention to it...but He chose every so often to give us a reminder that He is a master artist. I'm ever so thankful that my life is colored with so many crazy children.

You don't like it? Tough. Who asked you, anyway?

To those of you who look on larger families with disdain, you have my pity. It's a shame your life isn't as brilliantly colored. You might be a tad happier and less likely to try to make everyone else feel miserable!


Barbara said...

That is a shame that some one is so rude, she must be a very miserable person, does she not know children bring much happiness, joy and keep one young, I have 5 love each, and would of had more if my body had cooperated with me, giggles,. good for you and be blessed. Hugs Barbara

Anonymous said...

Based on what she said about the family she grew up in, her remarks were not a commentary on your family, but on hers. It's very sad, really, and I hope that in future you'll immediately feel compassion and grace for someone who so obviously didn't have the blessings and joy that your family experiences. It may be that turning your back on her was a missed opportunity, or perhaps she wouldn't have been in a position to receive anything positive from you. However, anything like that is always a teaching experience for our children to learn from us. I've experienced similar encounters and I don't always "get it right", but I'm learning for my "first thought" to be love. Rarely is such an outburst "about us" anyway (even though it feels directed at us). It's more than likely "about them." Love and hugs to you and yours! ~Mae

Anonymous said...

I have 8 girls and am currently pregnant with my 9th baby. It is sure surprising how rude complete strangers can be.Most people are just shocked because they are not used to seeing more than 2.5 kids.. Or they will say "you need to get a hobby". Like that is any of their business. Just because we are fruitful we are labeled as perverts. I also get "you must have your hands full" and I respond " yes full of blessings". I just try to smile and be a light.

Molly said...

Thank you for raising a home FULL of children being taught to love the Lord :- )

When I was a young girl, I hoped to have 6 children. The craziness of the world got a hold of me, and my husband and I chose to wait to have children. We used birth control for the first 8 years of our marriage! Oh the beautiful blessings from God I have passed up! It makes me so incredibly sad to think of the home full of babies and children we could have had!

We now have two amazing boys,and my husband knows my heart yearns for a third child. My heart actually yearns to throw birth control out the window and make up for lost time, but his heart does not feel the same. So, I will pray. I will be grateful for however many children I am blessed with - and I will always smile and say encouraging words to my sisters in Christ who are out in public with their large families.

God bless you!

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