The other day at Chick-Fil-A, a nice teenaged girl held the door open for me as my kids and I were trying to shuffle out into the parking lot. Apparently it must have looked like I had my hands full. Not sure if it was because I was holding two ice cream cones, the hand of my 3 year old and gently nudging my 5 year old with my knee to keep walking, but whatever the reason, the teen girl’s mom looked at me, eyes wide open and said,
“Are all of those yours?”
At first I wasn’t sure what she was talking about. I looked down at the ice cream cones but quickly realized she was referring to my children.
I smiled and said, “Yeah,” continuing to shoo my slower than slow 5 year old son out the door.
“Oh goodness!! You have your hands full! I could have never have had that many kids. The Lord knew I could only handle the two I have. Bless your heart. I’ll say a prayer for you tonight.”
Um, thanks? I smiled…awkwardly.
I’ve heard similar comments before, but this one didn’t sit well with me. It wasn’t light-hearted like these types of comments usually are. Part of me hoped my kids weren’t paying attention, but I wasn’t sure exactly why.
As we were buckling up, I asked my oldest (10.5 yo) if she heard what the lady said. She said she did. I asked her what she thought.
“She made me feel bad. She made me feel like having four kids is a really bad thing.”
That was it. She made it sound like my kids were a huge burden. Maybe she didn’t mean it that way, but man, her delivery
sucks needs work. And she said it right in front of all of them.
I don’t want my kids to feel like a burden. Ever. I know I do my fair share of yelling, hiding from them, or wanting to fast forward 10 years, but the truth is….I chose to have them.
We chose to have them….all of them.
This is what we wanted.
It’s what we wanted our family to be.
I also realized life isn’t what it used to be just a few year ago…. when the kids were so young and they all had to be strapped into car seats and couldn’t tie their own shoes or blow their nose.
And it all seemed so exhausting.
It’s not so hard like that anymore. Not so physically demanding. Not like it used to be.
No, my hands aren’t what are full these days….
my heart is.
I should note that after this picture was taken, I had to pick the 3 year old up off the floor & carry him over my shoulder while dragging my other son into the car. Not so physically demanding? Ha! Well, 2 out of 4 ain’t so bad….and it’s cheaper than a gym membership.