Monday, March 9, 2009

One Lucky Lady

We spent a day in the Big City on Saturday. My husband had a conference, so while he attended it, we were tourists. One mom, five pods.

Anyone with more than one child knows what everyone says to the mother doing the juggling act, "Wow! You have your hands full!" and variations on that theme. I recognize that people are not trying to be rude, just making small talk, so I usually respond graciously. Saturday, I heard the comment many, many, many times.

Yes, yes, my hands are full. . . Great way to be full, though, isn't it? . . . Thank you, aren't they wonderful . . . Boy, don't I know it . . . isn't it fun? . . . Why don't you stop observing my full hands and pick up the shoe my baby just tossed. Thanks. And, by the way, you don't need to shake you head in pity--I chose to have five children and I LIKE IT! I may have more.

But, as I've told you before, I am never churlish and don't make the curt replies over which I've mused. I somehow feel that I am the spokeswoman for all large-ish families. (I wonder, parenthetically, if all mothers-of-many feel this way.)

We were at the stop for the public transportation and I was organizing my brood. "Oldest, hold the baby. Second take the hand of the fourth. Third, you make sure you get your hiney on the train. Your mothership will fold up the obnoxious double stroller and haul the beast up the skinny steps. As soon as the doors open, move fast because leaving one of you at the stop would be a nightmare--for mother and child." I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a woman, about 50, just watching me. My hands were a bit full (har, har) so I didn't give her much heed. After a few minutes, she came over and spoke. She said, "You are one lucky lady."

A big smile burst upon my face as I agreed and thanked her again and again. That was the best thing I heard all day.

You know what? I am a lucky lady. There are women who cry themselves to sleep at night because they cannot have children. There are women in China who are still mourning because they were only allowed to have one child and that child died in an earthquake. There are women whose children are not with them because of painful custody battles. The adoption agencies have books full of the names of women who, so badly, want a child.

As I looked at my beautiful gifts piled all about me on that train, I thanked God for them.
I don't know why I have been given enough children to warrant public pity, but I do know that at least one other woman in that Big City, recognized that it is a good thing.


  1. Well.....looks like both you and Betsy had Splendid Saturdays.

    I really enjoyed the homeschool conference and especially hanging out with the "Supreme Commander". The last session we attended was the best, and I would have missed it if Justin hadn't pointed it out to me.

  2. What great pictures & a fabulous perspective. I definitely think that most of my friends with Big families (at least 4-5 kids) feel the same way. Glad you could hang out in the Big City. :)

  3. Very sweet. Thanks for making me tear up already this morning! gotta tell me when you're close by!!!!!!!!! We can at least feed you dinner, or somethiing! Love you, cuz.

  4. Your pictures are beautiful. And it sounds like a beautiful day, too. :)

  5. Emily, Did you hear about this?

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  6. You are a lucky lady! I think so and who knew I'd end up being as lucky as you!?

    Love you baby sister, see you in 10 days!

  7. I've been poking about your archives and came across this one. Let me just say, you are so incredibly lucky. I ache for a family that big, but my husband doesn't want one. I have to fight tooth and nail for baby #3 and I'm praying my heart out for the chance to try for #4. So yes, you are lucky.
    And I'm glad I get to enjoy it vicariously through you.