"You have your hands full..."

I'm sure many of you can relate when I say I must hear this comment at least twice to maybe a handful of times every time I go out in public. I've actually come to hate those five words because I hear the pity in their voices. Their tone suggests sympathy and the comment is seemingly unwarranted because my children are being angels 99% of the time this is spoken. Maybe some of them don't know what to say so they say the obvious or maybe seeing a woman with more than 1.7 kids is downright irresponsible in today's world.

There have been just a few small handfuls of times where I've run into another human who doesn't say the dreaded five-worded phrase and really is glad to see a mother that 1)ventures out with her brood and doesn't let the sheer outnumbering stop her from accomplishing said errands 2)encourages her children to act civilly while during said errand and 3)considers children to be a true blessing from The Lord.

Yes, I know, my hands are full. Yes, it's hard work and I'm usually pretty exhausted. Yes, it's obvious I have two young energetic boys close in age and two opinionated, vibrant baby girls even closer in age and it's NOT easy. In fact, it's NEVER easy.

But believe it or not, naysayers, I'd much much rather have my hands full and my life be a bit on the crazy side than to adopt your attitude (the worlds attitude) towards children. I hear some of you speak of your children with disgust and your tone screams annoyance and indifference. My heart hurts for you because you don't see or remember the preciousness of your child. Not every child turns out to be an angel, but your sour description of your child I'm sure isn't helping matters.

Here's what you don't see: you see my full hands but you don't see my full heart. You don't see a table full of little hands and voices and faces at my dinner table every night. You don't see a backyard filled with laughter and messiness and bike riding. You don't see the times when these little ones help each other and share and care for one another without being told. Sure, they squabble and are selfish (a lot), but you don't see what I see. You don't see my boys that volunteer to pray with their sisters every night before bed. You don't see the joy on their faces as they help mommy cook or wrestle with daddy. You don't see the snuggles and cuddles during movie night and the popcorn messes. No, all you see is a mom outnumbered with a infant in a wrap, a toddler in the buggy and two young boys on each side. You assume I'm struggling and you assume I am a victim of "too many children". Well, I have a message for you, I am not to be pitied. I consider myself enormously blessed that four little ones call me their mother. And you know what else? I hope I have more. Yep, I said it...MORE. Yes, yes, I know you think I'm crazy, but I would love more children. You see, I believe children are, in fact, Gods greatest blessing to mankind. I believe limiting Gods blessings is kinda....well....not what He intended. And while I wholeheartedly believe that Gods greatest gift to mankind was His Son and the salvation He brings us, the greatest blessing He offers us is thru the children He so graciously loans to us.

So are my hands full? Absolutely! Am I to be pitied? Most definitely not! In fact, "Miss Obvious", I pity you. For you have no idea how wonderful it is to have your hands this full.

-Alicia