This is part of a writing project from Thailand Girl, Chani.
As I often use this blog as a place to air complaints, I thought it would do me good to think about some of the positive things that have happened…
"Don’t you people know what a TV is?"
I thought if I heard that question one more time I was going to scream. It had been a long, hot Summer and with six weeks of having the children home for the holidays, it was starting to wear on my nerves. It wasn’t so much that the kids were home. It was the constant judgements, that people would pass when I ventured out with family, that got to me.
Ok, there are alot of us. Seven children seems like a crowd in today’s society. I guess people are overwhelmed by our size.
Why make those comments though? Why say anything? My mother always taught me, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
"Are those all yours?"
"Gee, you must have your hands full!"
"Why would you have more children when the little one (referring to Malachy, who is a foster son and not biologically mine) is obviously not right in the head?" Oh, yes, they did say that! To my face!
"Your husband must be on a good salary for you to keep on having kids like that." Another favourite of mine.
All these things had been said to me during the Summer break. To top it off, I had one of the babies sick and one of the big kids with a suspected problem with her thyroid gland. Both required a blood test on this particular day. It was hot and as I had no one to look after the others, they were all grumbling about having to come to the pathology unit.
To say I was stressed was an understatement and then that - the TV comment by this grouchy old man, walking along the footpath in the opposite direction to ours.
I could feel the tears welling up as we entered the small unit to have the blood drawn. Confined spaces seem to accentuate our family size and cause people to comment all the more. So I prepared myself for the questions and comments.
Luckily there was nobody waiting and the children were as good as gold while Ivy and Imogen had blood taken.
As we were walking out, the receptionist asked if all the children were mine. Here we go…
"Yes." I answered, preparing myself for another negative comment.
She smiled, "Christmas must have been wonderful at your house, and birthday parties too!"
I smiled with her, "Thank you." I replied and herded the children out the door.
That one positive statement, made by a stranger, put everything into perspective for me that Summer. Yes, we were a big family but we enjoyed each others company. Our lives were full and rich because of it’s size, it did not hinder us. I made the decision that day that I was not going to let those negative comments get to me anymore. That one positive statement spoke volumes to me.