First let me start with the circumstances. I have 4 kids 6 and under. I was walking with all 4 somewhere this morning when a woman asked, “Are they ALL yours?” to which I proudly replied, “Yes!” (they were actually being well behaved so I was extra proud). Then she dropped the bomb, “I’m sorry.” Ugh. Unfortunately, this has happened to me before so I’ve got a pretty polite response on standby. I quickly responded, “Don’t be. I’m a lucky lady.” But what I really wanted to say was, “my kids can hear you, @$$&*^%.”
Here’s the problem. My kids ARE listening. Both their ears and their hearts work very well.
My hope is that you were being sarcastic, which is totally my love language, so I get that. I also get that you potentially only have 1 child who doesn’t totally speak or understand English yet so you’re not completely familiar with the repercussions of what you say out loud. Trust me, it sucks. There’s so much that I want to say, often of 4 lettered nature, that I must keep to myself because my kids are in earshot. My hope is you were saying sorry because you were probably thinking about how hard our mornings are, or how exhausting bedtime is, or how much money we spend at the grocery store or how hard it is during cold and flu season. You’re right. It’s crazy hard. So after settling myself down from wanting to egg your car (kidding! Sort of) and putting myself in your shoes, I get it. I think you were trying to be friendly and funny. No harm no foul.
But like I said, don’t be sorry. Let me just tell you some reasons on why I feel so lucky to have a big family. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s my big ass cup of coffee and I love it.
...I’m one of those moms who had to beg the universe for each and every one of these kids. I struggled like so many others before me and provide hope for so many after me. I’m so grateful to even have kids, let alone 4.
...They’re healthy. Health is such a gift that can’t be taken for granted. I’m thankful every day that I have 4 healthy kids. I’ve beaten the odds.
...I literally have arms around me all day long. I know this isn’t forever, and yes sometimes I feel like I’m suffocating, but it’s the best feeling in the world to have someone to hold whenever I want.
...I don’t get to sweat the small stuff. That was the biggest lesson jumping from 2 to 4 kids. You turn into major zone defense and you just don’t have the capacity to sweat the small stuff. As much as some might think it’s out of control, it’s actually incredibly liberating to not care if my son draws marker all over his face. Of course I care but it’s only washable in this house, baby!
...And my favorite of all is that there is so much love in my house. You just feel it when you walk into a room. Yes, they fight. Yes, the whine. Yes, I wine. But at the end of the day when I collapse on the couch and flip through pictures on my phone, the evidence is there. We love each other like crazy.
Again, don't be sorry. I haven't even gotten to the best part. I have 4 amazing reasons why my life is filled with pure happiness every single day. It's not just about being a big family, it's about everyone as individuals.
Let me tell you about Hayden. You’ll never meet a kinder person. He’s so genuine and so thoughtful and loves everyone he meets. Yes, my soul leaves my body when I walk into his room because it’s such a hot mess. His love for stuff often makes me feel like I’m on an episode of hoarders. But, he smiles 24 hours a day 7 days a week and genuinely finds happiness in each day. He’s such a joy to be around.
Then there’s Adeline. Her smile zaps straight to your heart. I’ve had parents stop me in the halls to say they look forward to seeing that smile every morning at school. I’ve had teachers stop me and say they can’t wait to see what she does with this world. Yes, she has a wicked temper (not sure where she got that from) and I often have to step over her in the morning as she’s crying on the floor FOR NO REASON while I microwave them pancakes (yes I’m that mom), but this girl can lift up those around her. She’s a survivor. She’s a leader. She’s strong. She’s so maternal and nurturing. She can dribble a basketball as good as a 3rd grader. And she’s only 4.
You’ve got to meet Ethan. He’s quiet at home but running for president when in public as he says and waves hello to EVERYBODY. He’s independent. He’s sarcastic. He’s incredibly calculated in what he does. He’s 3 steps ahead of all of us. If you look into his eyes, you’d know it. The kid has comedic timing and he’s 1.5. Yes, he cries every single day I pick him up from school but he gives killer open mouth kisses (work in progress) and I could eat him for breakfast.
And last but definitely not least, there’s Alex. From his fro to his heart, he’s just huge. He wiggles and giggles with every move he makes. Everything makes him laugh. He could walk onto the varsity football team today. He’s a climber and has a temper like his sister (ok fine, like his mother too) and steals toys from his twin brother all day long, but he’s the life of the party from the moment his eyes open till the moment they close for the day.
Again, no harm done this morning. Maybe it wasn’t your best day today or maybe you were just being funny. I’d let it slide, but you’re not the first to say it to me, and I know you won’t be the last. Thank you for reminding me how lucky I am. Thank you for giving me the excuse to brag on my family. This is one of those posts that I’ll go back and reread on the dark days. We all have them.
And to the next person in Target who says something to me about my family, just be ready for this:
Hahaha! My kids are sleeping now but I can’t wait for those crazy maniacs to wake up in the morning (hopefully after 6am) so I can tell them how much I love them.