“Are These All Yours?”

Yesterday was my first shopping day with all six kids.

It was a day I had been dreading just a little. You see, as some of you know, going out in public with six kids in tow is an invitation for rude comments.

“Are those all yours?!? You poor thing”

“Wow! That is a lot of kids! Why would you do that to yourself?”

And, the most recent one, said to me while I was pregnant with V –

“You have all these and you are going for another?”

Now, I don’t really care what people think. But two things really bother me about this weekly onslaught.

The first is that my kids are usually really well behaved. Someone will see me in a store, with all these little lovelies following behind and not notice that they are all calm, helpful and obedient. They will ignore the smile on my face and the sweet dispositions of my kids and call me cursed. They insult my kids by calling them baggage while I am enjoying them as the blessings that they are.

The second thing that bothers me is that these things are all said in front of my kids, making them feel unwanted and burdensome. It gives them the idea that we as a family are weird or freakish or stupid. That makes me mad.

But back to my story….

….So, yesterday was my first shopping day with all six kids. Halfway through Costco, I got the first, “Are these all yours?” comment.

He was a cute little old man and I was careful to smile big when I said, “Yup! All six of them.” And, you know what? He was so sweet as he smiled at the baby and patted The Boy on the head and said, “How wonderful! It reminds me of when mine were young. We have four…”

I love those comments.

The next two commenters were in the parking lot, and both were smiling, happy people who congratulated me on the new baby and said what beautiful kids I have. (Okay, so one said, “It looks like you have a kindergarten there!” but he followed it up with, “Good job, Mama!” so he gets a pass.)

And the rest of the day was the same. All through Trader Joe’s, Joann’s, Jamba Juice… Everywhere I went yesterday I was met with smiles, kind words and not a single disparaging look. (Well, one disparaging look, but he was kind enough not to say what he was thinking as we stood in line behind him at Trader Joe’s)

I don’t need society’s approval, and I can handle the stupid things people say, but what a nice thing it was to get a pass yesterday.

Yes, these are all mine. And I am the happiest woman because of it.