When you have as many as (gasp!) FOUR children, you hear some awful remarks. I could say snide, uneducated, or unkind, but really what they are is awful. "Did you mean to have that many?" "Don't you know what causes that?" "Are you just trying for a boy??" "Are you trying to compete with the Duggars?"I have felt like a circus act even amongst "friends" at times. I mean seriously. Four kids (or even five) is not that many. I wonder what they would say if they attended an Above Rubies conference, where I probably had the fewest number of children of anyone in the room.
Today, however, was different. I had a very pleasant experience at Wal-Mart of all places. I try to wait for Brian to go with us when we go grocery shopping, because we usually need two carts and honestly it's just difficult with all four trying to talk to me and ask if they can have this or that while I'm trying to make sure I cross items off the list and no one falls out of the cart or pulls something down off the shelf. But we were out of everything today so off to Wal-Mart we went (in the rain. Did I mention in the rain?? :))
On about aisle three, a very kind-looking older woman rounded the corner and immediately got a huge smile on her face when she saw my children. She stood and watched them for a few minutes, obviously amused. Bracing myself for "Are they all yours?", I turned to her and smiled. She said, "Your girls are beautiful. What a blessing! How exciting to have four girls! I won't ask you where you live, because I know that would just be weird, but oh how I would love to just come visit and play with these precious children. You are blessed." She gazed at each one adoringly and slowly walked down the aisle. I was speechless.
A couple of aisles later, an older couple stopped and smiled the same way the first woman had. Penelope handed them something from our cart, and the older man laughed and said, "She's so precious. How many do you have? Four? Are they all girls? Oh how wonderful. That is just wonderful. Think of the sons in law you will have one day!" They smiled at each one and kept walking.
Near the end, two ladies probably in their 40's stopped at the sight of us and one of them said to the other, "Oh look at that! How precious! One. . . two. . . three. . . four! Oh FOUR! And they're all girls!! How sweet! Oh they are so beautiful! I want some!" They actually even seemed to envy me in a way. I didn't hear how many (if any) children they had been blessed with, but it made me wonder if they had been able to have them at all.
The whole time we were walking the aisles, Allie was marking items off the list for me and Maggie was getting things off the shelf and into the cart. When we were waiting in line, Maggie said suddenly she had to go to the bathroom, and Allie willingly took her. They came back and reported that they had stayed together the whole time and even washed their hands. :) I walked back out to the car feeling like the most blessed woman in the world. God had indeed blessed me with beautiful, wonderful girls and I was so rich.
What a difference in attitude from "Don't you know what causes that?" as if they are a nuisance to be avoided. The Bible says that children are a heritage and that the fruit of the womb is His reward. It was so nice for my children to be recognized as a heritage and a reward today.