It happened. Again. Went to Kohl's to return a pair of sandals (the stupid rivet came off the strap hours after I bought it - because you really wanted to know). Taking the long way through because the kids were being really good.
And there she was. A sweet-looking elderly woman, looking for a new pair of Keds (presumably). She watched me walk by with the 2 little ones in the double stroller, a wee smile on her face. Then, as the other three walked past her, trailing in my wake, her eyes got bigger and her mouth opened wider. She looked at me, slightly aghast: "Are they all yours??" "Yes, ma'am".
And this is the part that gets me. In a world of smaller families, I can understand the raised eyebrows of seeing a big(ger) family, especially ones where all the kids are so close in age, really. I don't mind questions - that indicates to me someone who wants to understand, who knows they don't have all the answers. But when someone (like this lady) says, "Well, God bless you!" in that tone of voice, it kind of bugs me. Somehow it doesn't seem like the Almighty has been petitioned on my behalf in the middle of the shoe department. No, it sounded more like she meant to say, "God help you, you over-productive glutton!" Granted, that's not actually what she said, so maybe I shouldn't assume, but I've heard the comments enough to sense the tone.
Fortunately, God's grace abounds. When my children hear these comments and look at me, as if to say, "What's wrong with us, Mom?", it gives me the opportunity to put my arm around them, look my accuser in the eye, and with a smile assure them, "Yes, He really has!"