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I used to be right of center politically, and while I haven't changed, my family members (the ones who I have birthed and to whom I am married) call me a liberal. I don't really think that I am-- my views are all over the place, as I think are the views of most people. One of my adult children called me the family's "token liberal" (not the toking liberal, I am not like that!) so I decided to make it my blog title. I write about what I do in my community that matters to me and I share with everyone who cares to read what I think.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Holding My Tongue

Last week I had to get out of the house to do some reading for school. I went to the nearest Starbucks and sat down during a quiet time, only to have my solitude shaken by a very pregnant woman and her four kids. I saw myself from 12 years ago in her, and as her kids and she settled in for a late morning treat, heard them praying (the prayer was loquacious and detailed, but the kids, each with a tasty cookie in front of them, kept their heads bowed) and then the usual rustling as they got situated.

When my kids were little and I was pregnant, I did not understand why people gave me weird looks and sometimes said unflattering things. My kids were wonderful and well behaved, and yet several times, comments were made about me knowing what caused children as if they were bad, and I even had women mouth, "birth control" at me and laugh at themselves.

Last week I met a woman who was a lot like me from my early daze. I would never have asked that young mother if she knew what caused babies, nor would I make a crude suggestion of birth control. Her kids were good kids and well behaved, and she was clearly having a happy pregnancy experience. Even when kids are being good, a small crowd of children like that is noisy even if they don't speak, there will always be a patter of footsteps, and the scraping of chairs. Moms and dads become impervious to the noise that is natural, and it's OK. But other people often have no clue as to why anyone would "do that to themselves" and take on such a task. I realized how hard it was to have such a large family, but I didn't comprehend it all at the time that I was having them. I was thankful for my good health at the time that helped me get through it, and I wasn't always high energy.

I went to the counter and bought a $10 gift card for the mom, I wanted to tell her what sweet kids she had and tell her that I had nine kids and that she could use it however she liked, but that I hoped that if she got out of the house alone that she could use it to relax.

I walked over to her and complimented her family and I told her that I had nine, myself. She was wearing a filigree cross on her neck and told me what a blessing her children were. I'm familiar with the talk and smiled and nodded. Then her head snapped, if I had nine kids, she wanted to know where they were. I told her that two were in college, and the rest were in school. She asked if I had them in a religious school and I said no, just regular public school. Her shoulders straightened and she said that she homeschools her children and that as a Christian mother, she would never, ever trust her babies to the public school system, she was a mom to her kids! Her lips curled up in a sneer and her eyes narrowed at me. Her implication that I was not doing well by my children hung in the air.

"Well, nice family," I said, and put the gift card into my purse. I have friends with birthdays and kids in college who would appreciate a Starbucks card from me.

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