The other day our entire family was out on the town. It was my 6-week checkup after having my sweet fourth baby, so we made a day of it. We enjoyed lunch at Applebee’s, then went to a few stores, just shopping around for fun.
It was really our first time anywhere all together, and it was fun as we adjusted to four little following us through a store … with as little whining as possible. 😉
As we went to the toy section, an older woman noticed our kids. She counted them and commented on how many we had. At first I felt like rolling my eyes as I’ve heard “You’ve sure got your hands full!” about a million times!
She made the normal comments, but then as she was walking away she said, “Wait ’til you get as old as I am, then you’ll know what a blessing they are!”
I thought that was so sweet, and out of the norm for a stranger in a store. For every positive comment I’ve ever heard in public, I’ve probably heard 10 negative comments. It’s so sad that children aren’t viewed as the precious gifts they are.
As we began checking out, the cashier was very sweet, and again commented on the number of children we have. But she was very kind, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the baby, and telling the children how well-behaved they were. Then a woman walked in through the door, which was near our checkout register. She starting looking at our family, did a double-take and said, “Okay! How many do we have here?” (we?) She sounded very rude right off the bat! She said, “Are you guys crazy or what?!”
I felt so angry, annoyed, and even hurt. I mumbled something like, “Oh no! We love our kids.” I really don’t remember because it was like a slow-motion blur, as our family was bashed by a total stranger! (Looking back, I should’ve asked her if she was “crazy or what” for wearing those neon-pink pants!)
My husband very dryly said, “What.” 🙂 Love that man!
The cashier spoke up for us and said, “And they’re happy, what more could you ask for?”
The rude woman said, “College money. Ask for college money.”
And just for the record, no one was screaming, crying or pouting. It’s just the general assumption most people make that it’s too expensive to have lots of children, or it’s too much work, or it’s too irresponsible, or it’s too fill-in-the-blank.
What about how much fun it is? What about how rewarding it is? What about all the ways you can see God work when you can’t afford it? What about togetherness and no loneliness? What about those “blessings” they become, as that older woman told us?
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Psalm 127:3
Children are a gift from God! He chooses to bless us with little lives to raise for Him. And I want my children to hear me speak up for them. They are a great blessing to me! I love them with all my heart, and they are the biggest ministry in my life right now. I love “having my hands full” with them!
Each new addition that makes its way into our lives is a precious gift. The rude woman seemed very bitter, and very stressed. I wonder about her life, and if she enjoyed her children or not. I am sad for her, and I’m afraid she will be a lonely woman as she grows older because having children didn’t seem precious to her at all.
Others may not see children as a gift, but let’s help them see it that way! Let’s speak up for our children so they know how thankful we are, and how much they mean to us.