27 Sep At the Checkout Counter
by Barbara Padolina
Barbara and her husband are the parents of a large family. They reside in Canada, cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team and love having family and friends over for nice, long meals. This article was written and posted to her blog Mom At Large. I encourage you to visit her blog and enjoy her inspiring insights into family — our greatest treasure.
Most people get excited for couples expecting their first child, and rightly so. There are still looks of pleasant surprise and congratulations with the second and the third. The fourth pregnancy can bring about moments of silence for some, looks of genuine surprise from others. It gets pretty interesting from the fifth onwards.
I’ve had people look at me in disbelief, one woman even ask me point-blank if I was crazy. People who see our family all together for the first time almost always have a reaction. It has taken some getting use to, and was not very pleasant at first. I had to remind myself that, in truth, my husband and I were not doing anything wrong even if there were those who acted as if we were committing a crime.
So it was not with dread that I heard the question asked again today. Let me back-track a bit here…..
I brought four kids with me to do some grocery-shopping. The kids are great to have with me since I can ask one to get an item, while another kid can get something else. At the check-out, the kids started getting some boxes for the grocery items while I started to pay the bill. The cashier smiled at me and said, “So……3 boys and 1 girl, eh?”
I smiled back at her. “Eight. There’s eight kids.”
Her eyes kind of popped out a bit as she stared at me. “No way….”
“Yes! Eight kids — a girl, then 4 boys, then 2 girls, and a boy. I gave birth last August.”
And then came the inevitable question.
“So that’s it, right?” I could almost hear her holding her breath in anticipation.
I had to laugh. This lady with a wonderful smile was still asking me if eight was “enough”! A lot of people had stopped asking at number 6 or 7 because they either got tired or figured it out for themselves. Or thought we were plain crazy. In any case, this lady wanted an answer, and I had one for her.
“No! Listen, I have a 12-seater van, you know…..Besides, God has never let us down. He’s always taken care of us, gives us what we need. And what we don’t have, we don’t need. That’s how I see it.”
And you know what? This lady got it! She smiled at me, looking really happy this time.
“Yeah, I know what you mean.”
It thrills me when people “get” my family. And if they don’t — well, there’s always hope that they will one day.