Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Two perspectives

I'm up early this morning because I've had a fitful night of sleep. Sometimes you have those nights where the mind doesn't shut off. Last night I remembered something that happened a year and a half ago in Rhode Island that I thought was blog-worthy.

I was hugely pregnant with Judson, probably in the ninth month, when I came down with some sort of sickness. This required a trip to the doctor and subsequent trip to the pharmacy. It just so happened that I needed to take all 3 children with me to Wal-mart, and I remember thinking in the back of my mind that I bet I was a sight. You start to be a little self-conscience of these things when you get to kid #3--much more so with kid #4!

I walked, or rather, waddled over to the Pharmacy and stood in line. James was sitting in the front part of the cart and Micah and Dori were holding on to the right side and standing there quietly. I remember being very proud of them because no one was asking me for anything and they were all being still.

I handed my script to the lady and went to take a seat and wait. A few moments later, out walks a woman I would guess in her 60s with yellow-blonde hair. She asked me a question about the script, which I answered and then I think it dawned on her that I was hugely pregnant and shopping at Wal-mart with my 3 other children. The look on her face told me she was about to say *something*. And she did:

"Are all these yours???"
I smiled.
"Yes. They are all mine."


I think the people in the very back restroom probably heard her! She was so serious and apparently really wanted to know why, because she stood there for another 30 seconds more staring me down, waiting for her answer. Now, some days, that type of intrusive and rude question would be met with a quick, curt answer or maybe no answer at all. But for some reason, that particular day, I was so overjoyed and happy to be with my children and excited about the looming new critter coming....well, I just smiled back at her and said simply, "we kinda like kids."

She left us shaking her head back and forth the whole way. I browsed the vitamin row while we waited for the prescription to be filled and almost giggled at how angry the sight of my big ole pregnant self and three small children had made a perfect stranger. It really was funny! About that time, I noticed a man in his 70s sitting on the bench watching us. I thought, "oh no! Here we go again." But then I saw that he was smiling at us. His wife was next to him and I heard them talking and I knew they were talking about us. I kept looking at the vitamins and talking quietly to the kids, telling them how much I love them and keeping James from grabbing the kiddie vitamins. I didn't want my poor children to believe that it was somehow bad that they were born, you know. And then this kind gentleman actually called me over to him.

I rolled the cart next to the bench preparing myself for another chastisement, but I was met, instead, by the most wonderful words:

"Ms...You have a beautiful family here. Your children are so sweet and they all look like each other."
He turned to his wife and said, "Honey, look how wonderful they all are. And look, she's got another one coming."

Oh, how I could have kissed this sweet gentleman and his lovely wife! What joy they brought me be commenting on my family. What a blessing they were to my children after hearing such ugly remarks! I told this man that his words had made my day.

Remembering them now has given me joy once again.