I saw you walking into Target with your husband and your 4 children this evening. I know you didn't see me. I was sitting in my minivan waiting for my husband. We had just wrestled our 5 children back into their carseats and were unloading our bags when I realized something had fallen underneath the baby's infant carrier. Part of me wanted to toss it in the bag and head home, but in an effort to always set a positive example for the kids, I sent him back in to pay for it. (Darn guilty conscience!)
Anyway, I saw you with your four children scampering around your legs and I thought, "pretty soon ours will all be walking on their own at the store, too". Then, you turned to the side a bit to call to one of them, and I saw your pregnant belly. I almost jumped out of the minivan and ran to hug you right there! I probably would have if I hadn't been singing a rousing rendition of If You're Happy and You Know It" to keep the baby from crying. As it was, I felt like a stalker analyzing your family as the kids jumped and danced and raced their way into the store. I think our families could be good friends.
|Family Photo courtesy of my dear friend at Brianna Lauren Photography|
And, there were so many things that I didn't want to say to you:
I didn't want to ask you if this pregnancy was planned.
I didn't want to ask if you were done now.
I didn't want to tell you that you needed a hobby.
...or a t.v.
I didn't want to ask you if you knew how that happened.
I didn't want to ask you if you were going for a basketball team.
And for heaven's sake, I didn't want to insinuate that you were on welfare
...or ruining the environment
...or that you must be poor and uneducated.
I know what it's like to be you. I know that with each pregnancy announcement you probably found that family and friends were noticeably less excited. You may have even worried about what they would say when you told them. You probably hid your happy news longer than usual hoping to avoid the questions...and the comments...and the stares.
I know that when you're out in public, people will often make comments about the size of your family. They'll ask you questions that aren't any of their business about your reproductive habits. (Why, yes, I do enjoy having sex and no I don't think we have plans to stop). Some will be innocent enough (Wow! You have your hands full!). And others will mumble things under their breath behind you at the grocery store about how the government must be funding your bill (nevermind that you may or may not have ever been on welfare). The mean ones will even comment on how many resources your family must use and how the planet would be better off without large families. What can I say? Some people are cruel!
So, let me be the one to tell you this:
Your family is not a waste or a burden. You are not stupid for having a large family. You probably do make material sacrifices to provide for your family, but you are rich beyond measure in love and joy! You, my dear, are strong, and brave, and capable, and BLESSED! Congratulations on your growing family!!
With love and well-wishes,
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