Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Program Error

I am not one of those Mama's who braves it very often and takes all the little ones with me somewhere. When I need to, I will. But I am very aware that with three under the age of four and an ever growing belly, going shopping for anything that isn't necessary is just a recipe for making all of us frustrated. And have I ever mentioned my aversion to people and their seeming disbelief that these are all my children and I do know how they got here? However, with Thomas and Sarah Grace going to school two mornings a week, I am finding I have ample time to run my errands with just Elizabeth to keep me company.

This works well, except for those times when I have to get to the post office on a day when there is no school and it is pouring down rain (thank you for your rains, Tropical Storm Fay). There we were, me with a baby on my hip, both the older kids with packages in their hands, Elizabeth chewing a little bit on the envelopes I needed to mail off, and me encouraging the kids to quit puddle jumping. It always amazes me how long it takes to travel ten or fifteen yards with these guys.

Finally, we made it inside where the children were careful not to step on the cracks between the tiles, and not to step on any of the darker tiles, only the lighter colored gray ones. By the time we made it to the actual line, a couple of people had skirted around us and were now standing in front of us. Only one of them wasn't content to just have bypassed my small brood, who were behaving well, by the way. Just full of questions that echoed inside the post office. You know, big, empty-ish government building built of cinder-block and tiled floors. She made it a point to scowl in our direction several times.

Maybe she had a headache (I can so sympathize), but I had already jumped to my own conclusion. She thought I had too many kids. A mind-set I run into frequently enough to make my head spin. In fact, just a few weekends ago, I had a lady in front of me in a consignment sale line ask me if I knew what caused it! Every fiber of my being wanted to give her a tongue lashing, but the Lord helped me with my plea to be a sweeter person. I smiled and said 'Love'.

But my toes were curling. It makes me ill tempered, plus, I don't want my children to feel the thorny and misguided conception that they are burdens. But I digress.

Back to my original point: running errands. Today I had it in my head to go by my favorite craft store our town's craft store after I dropped Thomas and Sarah Grace. Only they aren't open at 8 am. They don't open until 9. And Elizabeth and I had not had breakfast and she was already spoiling for her morning nap. So we left, me thinking I could just leave a few minutes early and run by again before we picked up the older two kids.

It was simply not to be. I got stuck behind something that was happening somewhere and I never figured out what it was that had traffic on a two lane road slowed down for nearly fifteen minutes. Elizabeth and I got to the church, picked up Thomas and Sarah Grace, and the entire time, I was debating to go, or not to go to the craft store. Going finally won out, because I am excited about this project. (I will post on that later, if it turns out well!)

Thankfully, though Fay is still spreading her love, the rain was on a temporary hiatus, allowing us to get in and out without being rained upon. Once in the store, Thomas kicked into gentleman gear and grabbed a cart for the girls to ride in and then he toted the hand basket around for me to drop things into. The kids ooohhhheeeedddd and aaahhheeeddd over the gigantic tree that was decorated for fall. Then they begged to go through 'Christmas Valley' their nickname for all the Christmas aisles. We walked up and down the 'Valley' aisles twice each (once to look at each side of the aisle).

As we were discussing decorating ideas and ornaments, I absent mindedly pushed the cart out into the main aisle, nearly running into the cart of a lady who looked to be a few years older than me (the age that so often makes my hairs bristle with their comments on my kids). She jerked to attention, and just as I was preparing to have to laugh off another rude comment in the presence of my children, she burst into this huge smile that encompassed all of us.

'Oh, do you know how blessed you are? They are beautiful!'

Lady, I don't know who you are or what you are up to at this moment, but your sweetness has brought tears to my eyes several times today. Because you know what? Your right. I am and they are. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your encouraging words.


The Bouldins said...

It really does blow my mind the number of people who feel it is their duty to comment on how close in age my children are (and I only have the two ... I can't imagine how often that situation comes up when you run into people who have a preconceived notion about how many children should be in a family) I like your answer of "love"

(One time someone asked me why I would have my children so close together. I just shrugged and said, "She was a really good sleeper and we had some time on our hands." Not, perhaps, the most Christian of answers, but I was feeling particularly testy that day.)

What a beautiful end to your post :)

Happy day

Michelle said...

God bless the woman that responded so positively to your number of children. It amazes me what people feel led to say to others they don't even know. My uncle was actually asked one time if his last child was planned. (he has three) His response was "God planned him".
Anyway, you ARE blessed to have the children you do and they are blessed to have you for a Mom as well.

Stacia said...

Isn't it wonderful when God sends little angels our way to bless us with some positive words. I was in the grocery store the other day when a lady grabbed the last two boxes of Quaker bars we were looking at. She stopped and said "I'm sorry. I got the last two do you need one?" I was floored. It touched me that someone would be that thoughtful because most of the time people don't care. God blessed me that day. And I'm glad he blessed you to.