I take four kids out and about. Often.
Just me and four kids aged 7 and under. At the park, at the store, at a (gasp) restaurant.
At first the looks annoyed me. And then I laughed. And then I got annoyed again.
Now, it just depends.
But while my reaction changes from time to time? The looks don’t.
I struck up a conversation with a very nice lady at the park this weekend as we both swung our 17 month old girls.
chat, push,chat,push, shared moment, laugh.
Then the one-year-old’s two-year-old brother came up to me and I popped him into the swing too.
One question followed – “oh are they twins?”
“nope, they are 13 months apart.”
Then my 7-year-old bounced up to ask if she could go in to the sandbox, with her 5-year-old brother.
The two of them dashed over as I reminded them to stay where I could see them.
And conversation stopped.
No problem, I worked on the little man’s words since he’s still not talking. And kept the eyes in the back of my head peeled on my two oldest.
Kind of one of the calmer moments of my weekend really.
Me with the four kids.
And so I started thinking about it.
And I took a minute to look around.
I was the only one there with more than two kids.
How is it that I never noticed this before?
Four kids is a LOT of kids.
Especially when judged against the local family size.
My friend introduced me to a friend of hers recently and said by way of introduction “she has four too”.
Three is unusual, two is the norm.
We are no longer normal.
That’s not really news either.
We never were.
Another park this weekend. My daughter came up to me as I once again pushed the two little ones in the swing.
Once again next to a mom who thought they were so “cute” “Are they twins?”
My daughter brought a friend with her.
Both girls wanted me to explain what foster-sister meant.
I explained in 7-year-old language and when the girls happily bounced away to meet up with her “real” brother, the mom turned to me and recited one of the lines I hear all the time now:
god bless you
I could never do that
You have a special place in heaven
Wow, blah blah blah you rock
And so on, and so on. And don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the sentiment and good wishes. I appreciate the intention of the statement.
And I get that they mean well.
But some days all I hear is: Jesus christ are YOU stupid.
Because some days, that’s how I feel.
If we are able to adopt these children I will be the proud parent of four kids. Twice the regional norm.
A family of six is intimidating.
All of those things that make me sweaty when I think of them.
And some times I am very, very sweaty.
But, while this is not the decision I would have necessarily made if I had all the choices in the world. This is in fact the decision I made in the twenty minutes between when we got the call for the placement and when we called back to say yes to the placement.
And I chose this.
God bless me.