I am asked this question just about every time we leave the house. These days it is a reminder to me to just look at my beautiful children, thank God for them, smile, and simply say that they are.
Mostly the comment (it is usually more of a comment than a question) is followed up with compliments… How beautiful they are (yes, really!) and quite often how well behaved too… That one gets me every time.
I am more uncomfortable fielding compliments about my children’s behaviour than I am about their number.
There’s no secret, there’s no trick… There’s no amazing behaviour management program. I am definitely not writing the next best seller either. I usually say thank you and assure them that we keep it together pretty well outside the house and home is the safe place where we can all make mistakes.
The truth is, that we all make more mistakes than we want to remember, and most days I go to bed remembering not my children’s behaviour but mostly my own failures. I try to do better tomorrow.
There is grace in our home. For our children, and for ourselves. I was once encouraged by the words “Grace is for mamas too”.
Grace is also for the person commenting on our family size. How many blogposts and articles I have read, with lists of snarky replies to the equally snarky questions that come with the territory of leaving the house with a large family in tow. Whatever ‘large family’ means. I have only used one of those replies once. It was a good one, and I was not in a place where I was able to field it with grace, and certainly the person in question was in a professional capacity where comments of that nature were not required. It’s not my plan to either belittle another person’s question or to laugh at my own, extravagantly blessed family.
We are called to be different. To have grace for ourselves, our children, and others… When we all least deserve it. We are ambassadors for being even more.