Monday, February 12, 2007

Looking at Large Families

Saturday, I had a blog post all written about the mean, thoughtless things people have said to me about my family size. Complete strangers as well as acquaintances. The plan was to edit and post it this morning, but then something happened.

This sweet old man at church came up to me before Mass yesterday. I was kneeling in the front pew by myself. (An unusual occurrence. The rest of the family joined me later.) He stood in front of me, stooped over, his arms resting on my shoulders, looking me straight in the eye. He said, "I want you to know I watch your family every Sunday and it makes me so happy. You remind me of when we sat in these same pews with our young children. I just love it! Your family is so beautiful and you're doing such a good job. We're praying for you." I had to fight back the tears.

Better to tell those stories, instead of the ones of mean, thoughtless people.

I recall another day, shopping at the grocery store. I was stopped by two or three strangers that day who felt it their duty to comment on the number of children holding onto my grocery cart. Of course, I smiled and mentioned that I found children to be a blessing, even though I was dying to make a smart-alec remark. Then, as I was unloading my groceries, the cashier, a beautiful young woman, perhaps nineteen or twenty, asked me, "Are all those yours?" I simply answered, "Yep." Then I braced myself for a snide remark, but it didn't come. Instead, her face lit up and she said, "That's so cool. I hope to have a big family someday!" I wanted to kiss her!

Yep, there are people out there who look at me and see nothing more than a "breeder" and are vocal about it. Yet, I think, there are even more who look at me with kindness in their hearts. And, I'm so grateful when they let me know it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Maureen - Loved this blog post. Goes to show there remains much good in the world

Anonymous said...

YOur children are beautiful! Love the photo. :)

Can't wait to meet up in Kansas. :)

Maureen said...

They are beautiful aren't they! You know, that's why we have so many . . . when you do something well you should keep doing it :-).