On My “Lump ‘o Kids”

I wrote this piece two years ago and never got around to publishing it- thought today might be a good day to share! ~Leah

“When are you due?” I think I’ve been asked this question everyday for a month straight. Several times over. And I’m okay with that… it reminds me there is something (or ones) wonderful on the horizon.

“May.”

Awkward silence and gaping mouth.

“I’m having twins.”

“Oh! Wow! Congratulations! How many do you have already?”

“Five. This will be six and seven.”

Aaaannd then it starts. A too-long conversation while waiting for our order at a restaurant. Asking if we are done. Asking if I know what we are in for. Assuming my sainthood and that I will make my older children my perpetual slaves in raising the younger ones. Counting the price for schooling and basic necessities. (I am not joking.) Quipping on how happy we will be when they are all gone.

God gives me grace- Stephen slowly backs away to go “check on the kids.” Such a good father…

I’m going to be honest- I hate the question about how many kids I have or will have.

Now, before certain of you call me an ingrate, let me say I love my kids. I love my family and know, without a doubt, that despite my “family planning,” God’s plan has been so much better for us. I know that there are mamas with empty arms who would love to be in my place, and I think about you and pray for you often.

I dislike the question of how many children I have because the reaction is always the same- I go from being that reasonable lady who has been thrown a curveball to merely a breeder or irrational person. My children become a herd in their eyes, without personality or relationship.

When they hear we will have seven, strangers don’t know how funny my two oldest are together. They don’t know how much my Sophie-girl loves to dance and always has a song in her heart and on her lips. They see my son whir by and feel validated in believing I am crazy, but don’t know his ability to draw awesome pictures or his knack for mechanical things. They don’t see how Evie loves to snuggle with Mama.

That hurts. Because I am not merely sitting here breeding children. I’m enjoying their unique personalities and attempting to build solid relationships with each of them. I’m also dealing with spiritual and behavioral issues as different as they are.

They are not just my lump ‘o kids. We are praying and hoping and nurturing them to turn the world upside down for Christ.  Not as dispensable minions, but the men and women they were created by God to be. We aren’t perfect at it, but full effort is put forth.

So please, if you are at WalMart or a park, and you see a mama with a large crew- do not assume insanity or that they live on another level. At church, do not treat their children like a mass of humans from the same source. They are individually loved by their parents and God Himself. Each is precious. They are not a burden, but a blessing.

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