I come from a unique family setup. My parents began our family with my brother Patrick in 1979.
Then they gave Patrick a brother in 1981.
And yes…another brother in 1983. For this one, my mom found out the sex before the baby came. At the doctors words, my mother cried (yes, cried). She couldn’t believe it was another boy.
She became pregnant again in late ’84. She didn’t ask about the sex this time. She knew she wouldn’t cry once she held the baby in her arms — boy or not.
The baby game in June of ’85…a boy yet again. Four boys my poor mom had.
Did my parents keep trying for a girl? Yes, fortunately for me, they did. They wanted a big family. So, it only made sense to keep trying for a girl. Worst case scenario (which repeatedly was the scenario), they would have more kids. Crazy? Well, probably. But that’s our family. Isn’t your family crazy somehow?
My mom has experienced her fair share of stupid questions because of our large family.
As we stood in line in a Dairy Queen years ago, an old man asked my mother, “Are these all your children?”
Now, there’s a question, albeit simple, with a distinct twinge of judgment. Whether or not he meant it, to a young mother, he implied, “Wow, woman, didn’t you know when to stop? Kids, does your mother not believe in birth control?!”
My mother stared. Despite a desire to shake the old man, she grinned, “Yes.” Knowing her she also said, “They’re a mess, but we love them.”
My mother had variety of answers on the tip of her tongue. Only one of which she said. As you can see, she censors herself better than I do. She erred on the side of kindness. Something we should consider. Think before you speak, please. You might decide it doesn’t need to leave your thoughts.