As I walked through a grocery store tonight, I ran into a friend. She also has six children. After commenting that we look an awful lot alike when it comes to family size and mentioning how people never fail to comment, we went our separate ways.
Less than three seconds later, I was cornered by a perfect stranger who was asking my children if they were all brothers and sisters and if they all have the same mommy and daddy. Oh. My. REALLY?!!!!!! And then it occurred to me.
We’re not normal.
I know, I’m a little slow on the uptake, but bear with me. I haven’t slept well in, oh, about ten years.
I’ve always wondered at the attention we draw. I’m not nearly so outgoing as I’ve been forced to become in recent years, so this has rather bothered me. I can go grocery shopping at midnight without my children, but even that gets interesting. Something about buying 6+ gallons of milk and 12 loaves of bread makes people look at you funny. I’ve been asked if I was having a party before. Dude, you have no idea. Every day is a party at my house.
We don’t just draw a crowd. We are a crowd. No matter how well behaved the kids are – and sometimes, they just aren’t – we’re still in the way. People are in a hurry, and I’m the huge roadblock at the end of the aisle.
But where they see it as inconvenient, I see these as blessings. These are my blessings, my heart, worn outside of my body for all the world to see, to critique. Eden, she’s the one who will never run out of energy and is always willing to run anywhere to get something for me – and run she will. Ruby will make you laugh, every time. She says everything I say, and usually the first clue I’m saying something too much is when she starts saying it too much.
Charlotte is quiet and reserved and such a love. She’s vibrantly passionate about her hugs. Liberty is my right hand, learning to do everything I can, and becoming one of my best friends. Sterling is quiet and purposeful and his Daddy all over again. Since I fiercely love one, I also fiercely love the other. Pierce is stubborn, willful, and determined in all he does. He’s blazing through life with a temper that will either serve him well or get him into trouble – or both.
But my point is this. Before telling a momma she has her hands full, before you question her judgment in the choices she’s made, realize that whether she has one child or ten, these aren’t inconveniences to be merely be amused by, to comment upon, and shake heads while walking away, saying how glad you are that you aren’t me. I’m glad you aren’t me too. These are children of God, after all. I’ve been blessed enough to get to teach six of them about the Lord who created them, died for them, and rose again to give them life.