The mother looked at our van-load of four children and started to remark how amazing it was that we had such a large family. She repeatedly complimented Denise at her ability to handle so many children. She said several times that she had no idea how Denise could keep up with them. She said she could hardly handle the one little boy they had. She even gave our oldest soon (who was on the threshold of turning three years old) a tennis ball.
She was very kind, and I very much appreciate the fact that she was trying to be encouraging. But it saddens me that a family with four children should inspire such awe. Yes, they're a handful, but children are also an amazing gift. We don't stand in awe of people who work weekends and evenings to get a promotion or raise. We recognize that they are making an investment in what they believe to be important. Well, in being open to having and raising these children we are investing in what we believe to be tremendously more important than any promotion or raise could ever be.