Friday, August 5, 2011

I'm In a Cheeky Mood

An Imaginary Scenario:

My five children and I are standing in line at a store, and we notice a mother and her adolescent-age child minding their own business.
Being the "social" animal that I am, I decide to strike up friendly conversation.

Me: "Is that your only child?!"

Other Mom: "Oh, yes. My hands are full."

Me: "Yikes! Do you need me to tell you how to have more? I assure you, the process is quite enjoyable. Perhaps you and your husband should turn off the TV once in a while and give it a try!"

Other Mom: [Speechless; stunned at my audacity]

Me: "So, how long have you homeschooled your little prince?"

Other Mom: [Appalled at my assumption] "Homeschooled?! I could never do that! He happens to go to one of the very best schools in the state!"

Me: "Oh, my! You should really consider taking him out of school and teaching him yourself. Aren't you afraid he'll pick up bad habits from all of his peers, who still need to learn, themselves, how to behave properly and respect others?"

Other Mom: "Don't judge me!"

* Think that's bold and rude? *

An Actual Scenario:

My five children and I are standing in line at a store, minding our business, when another mother - wanting to distract herself from an argument she's having with her child over (insert item) - strikes up a conversation with me:

Other Mother: "Are they all yours?!" [Displays counting skills, not forgotten since Kindergarten]

Me: Yes, they are.

Other Mother: "Any twins?"

Me: "No."

Other Mother: "Wow! You must be crazy or something! I have my hands full with just this one. I can't imagine five! Don't you know what causes that?!" [Laughs at own (stupid) joke]

Me: [Silent; not dignifying last remark with a response]

Other Mother: "Well, are you done?" [Expecting the obvious "right" answer]

Me: "We'd actually love to adopt!"

Other Mother: [Flabbergasted at not hearing what she had hoped] 
"You want more?!" 
[Scans the crowd to see if anyone else will reinforce what she obviously thinks of this]

Me: "Oh, yes. These children bless my life! My husband and I are thankful for every one!"

Other Mother: "So, where do they all go to school?"

Me: "We homeschool."

Other Mother: "Wow! You homeschool, too?" [Shakes head slowly in pity] "So, what about socialization? I mean, do they know how to interact with other children?"

Me: "Well, they're learning to get along with each other, which is something most children don't do well with siblings. And we are a very social family, so they have no shortage of opportunities to interact with others. Really, the socialization question isn't an issue for us as it was for the pioneers of the movement over twenty years ago, when homeschooling was nearly unheard of."

Perspective is a funny thing.

The Perpetrators of Controversy:

Caelyn (19)
The Care Giver
Compassionate; Gentle-Spirited; Servant-hearted (Philippians 2:5-7); Loves a good joke
(I'm so glad that birth control didn't work!)

Morgan (17)
The Negotiator
Insightful; Methodical; Frank, but kind (Ephesians 4:15)
(I'm so thankful that she lived through having the umbilical cord wrapped thrice around her neck!)

Craig Grayson (15)
The Protector
Strong; Unbending (Proverbs 4:27); Affectionate; Not intimidated by anyone
(I'm so glad that, in God's economy, it was perfectly fine to have another baby while Craig was back in college & we had almost no money!)

Graham (13)
The Observer
Discerning; Loyal (Proverbs 17:17); Caring; Inquisitive
(I'm so thankful that Baby #4 came along in God's perfect timing, and that he has overcome the health struggles he had as a baby!)

Gabriela (12)
The Hostess
Joyful; Adventurous; Relational; Considerate (Philippians 2:4)
(I'm so glad that God gave her to us at a time when it seemed, from the outside, that another baby was more than we could handle - "I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me.")

 "For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well... All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:13-14, 16b

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate."
Psalm 127:3-5

"The Lord remembers us and will bless us:
He will bless the house of Israel,
He will bless the house of Aaron,
He will bless those who fear the Lord -
small and great alike.
May the Lord make you increase, 
both you and your children."
Psalm 115:12-14


  1. Dayna.

    Wow. Wow, and Wow. Cheeky AND thought-provoking.

    How many times do I do similar things to people with my presuppositions: if only I could read such a well-put-together perspective from other people about my own stupid comments.

    Lord, help me to be wise in my speech.

    Great stuff.

  2. Dave, you totally are wise in your speech. You and Gracie are tremendously edifying and encouraging. Thank you, though, for the reminder that I, too, should be considerate & wise in the way that I respond to others.
    The Lord once kept me from slaying a lady with my words when I saw her doing the "head count". It turns out that she was grieved over never being able to have children. I was relieved that I didn't add to her grief with my self-defense. How awesome to have such a Mighty Defender in Jesus, Who is rich in compassion!
    Love you guys!

  3. Amen and Amen! Love you and your awesome family!

  4. Love you, too, my network friend! ;-)

  5. You have beautiful children and love what you highlight about them in their character and how they came to be in your family!

    We all have to watch where our thoughts take us and how we judge others.

  6. Thank you so much, Phyllis!

    You are right in your point. Of course, I would never say the things that I wrote in my imaginary scenario. Anyone in that case would tell me not to judge - and rightly so, as it's not up to me to decide how someone else's family should look. That's what makes it so amazing that a large number of people throughout the years have said the things in the actual scenario to me, and more! I'm thankful for the grace of God that enables me to just take it and give thanks to Him for His many blessings. I feel sorry for moms who are overwhelmed.

  7. Oh, my friend! Loved this post! (and the pictures of the kids....miss you guys!) I get comments like that all the time for my 4, and confess that I wasn't always gracious in my answers. I loved the answer about 'socialization'...I'm going to remember that! Give everyone my love! We'll have to skype soon! Love, Sue

  8. I agree - good post, Dayna. I enjoyed the scenario as well as the "introductions" to all your arrows. You are quite blessed!

  9. You know I love this post!!! Maybe we should have t-shirts made that say "No, as a matter of fact, my husband and I don't watch TV!" LOL

    I think you should post this as a note on FB and then I can "share" it on my wall. Will ya? Will ya??

    btw, loved seeing your precious arrows! Mariah was looking over my shoulder when I scrolled to Caelyn's picture and she just sighed and said in a sad, dreamy voice, "Caelyn!" :-)

  10. Hi Dayna! I just found your website from Pursuing Titus 2. I loved this post. We have five children, ages 8 and under, and I'm expecting our 6th. We are always getting crazy comments. Loved how you reversed the scenarios. :-) Great perspective!

  11. was Cheaper by the Baker's Dozen that brought me here. :-) (I was looking at Pursuing Titus 2 as well this morning and got a little mixed up.) Have a blessed day!

  12. Hi Dayna! Nice to meet you! Thanks for checking out my blog. Your family is beautiful. And I loved reading the notes about each one. I only have four kids and I get those comments a lot! I always feel bad for the children though when people say those things!

  13. I am so glad to have stumbled here and "met" you and your lovely family! We just welcomed our fifth baby this summer, so I am no stranger to the comments you encountered at the grocery!

  14. Wow! Thanks for posting that! As a mom of 7 I was tired of those conversations 4 children ago :)

    Your family is very beautiful.