An unrelated picture of Angel and Grins sharing a new Christmas gift (belonging to Wiggles!) - I love how nurturing each of my children are, practically from birth. It is so precious.
I've posted on this topic before but, just for my own record, I have to note this, if for no other reason than to look back and realize I am improving, if only slightly.
This afternoon while walking Angel home from school, Angel, Grins, Wiggles and I were accompanied by my friend's 3 yr old son as well, who played with us this afternoon while my friend ran some errands. An elderly man walking his dog passed us and, with a friendly smile said, "I really hope those aren't all yours!" just as kindly and politely as if he had commented on what a beautiful day it was. His comment caught me completely off guard because of his friendly demeanor - so much so that I almost didn't realize what he had said until after he had passed. But in the past, when people have commented on the number of children I have, I have been ashamed or embarrassed, and have said "I only have 3!" or in some other way have tried to make sure they realize I am not, in fact, 'irresponsibly overpopulating the planet'.
But I have always been uncomfortable with this. I love children, I believe children are "an heritage of the Lord,(Psalm 127:3)", I am not ashamed of my children, and I fully intend on having more! I believe that the number of children one has is an incredibly personal choice, and ought never be a source of judgment or condemnation, particularly when the parents are responsibly caring for their own children. Last time I posted on this, I received a few delightful suggestions regarding appropriate responses to strangers who feel the need to comment on the number of children they see. I've been keeping these ready should the occasion present itself again - which it did today.
Unfortunately, since I was so caught off guard, and because I am not good with quick retorts, most of the clever quips I'd planned escaped me. I did, however, manage a: "Only 3 are mine, but I would love to have 4. They are so much fun!" The man's face changed and he quickly walked away, but I walked home with a happy heart, knowing that I had, at last, defended my choice and my belief.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ..." (Romans 1:16)