Monday, June 15, 2015

"Wow. You have your hands full."

Today I walked into the bank with my four children. They quietly walked beside me and stood there while I spoke with the teller. About half-way through my transaction, they discovered the video monitor above our heads that displayed the front door. And one by one, with silly faces, giggles, and dance moves they got in front of that camera, and began to entertain each other, and the other two or three people that were also in the bank.

With a lift of the brows, a slight eye roll, a heavy sigh, and a sympathetic but condescending smile, the teller said dryly, "Wow. You have your hands full." And just like that, she conveyed a message that actually said "Wow. Look at you, you poor, pooooor thing. You exhausted, exasperated mother of four. Your hair is in a ponytail because you haven't had time to wash it. Your children are undisciplined, unruly, wild animals, wearing a mismatched assortment of clothing, because you don't have time to care what they wear. Your life is boring and plain and sad, and you never get any peace and quiet."

And I want to say this to that very beautiful, very manicured, very put together and glamorous woman: 

1. No mother wants to hear that line. Ever. It's like when you break up with a boyfriend, and your grandpa says "oh don't worry about it, there are other fish in the sea." It's one of those lines, that people just shouldn't say. Please, just don't go there. 

2. You are right. Yes, my hands are full. Both literally and figuratively. I am carrying all kinds of heavy stuff, including children and all of the things that go with them, and I am busy with them. Sometimes I'm exhausted, sometimes their clothes don't match and sometimes they disobey. All true.

3. You are also wrong. My children are children. But they are not a burden, they are a joy. And I have never been so thankful to be their mother, and to be at home raising them. They are really cool people, with great, loving, funny and caring personalities. My life is happy and I am grateful for my full hands. Also, my hair is clean, sometimes I just like ponytails.

4. And lastly, please don't do that eyebrow, eye roll, heavy sigh, smile thing at me. It's very rude. It's more rude than a four year old making silly faces in front of  a video camera in a bank. 

That is all.





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