Monday, March 29, 2010

And for Your Entertainment, in the Center Ring . . .

This experience is not exaggerated in any way:
In the Phoenix airport Saturday night, waiting for our bags. Nice lady goos and coos at Eve:
"Oh, she is beautiful. Hello, sweetheart! Oh, so bootiful, yes you are! What a pretty girl!"
She returns attention to the baggage claim.
"What is your baby's name? She really is the most beautiful baby. Is this your first?"
I answer truthfully--her name is Eve, and she is number seven.
"Holy S***!" Woman stomps off in a huff, somehow offended.

In the Phoenix airport Saturday night, waiting for the parking shuttle. Nice couple goos and coos at Eve:
"What a gorgeous baby! Look at her headband! We left our girls home for this week, and we're dying to get back to them. Aren't kids the best? Here, look at this picture. Their names are . . . "
They make sure they don't miss their shuttle.
"Wow. She is so smiley and friendly. Is she your first?"
For the second time in an hour, I answer truthfully.
"Oh my gosh! Really? How old are they? Wow. Seriously?"

My question for the day: When does the number of kids you have become a sideshow attraction at the circus? I don't watch the Duggars. I don't know anything about them, really. But does seven kids put you in the same class as 19? Enough to exclaim in shock? Enough to offend?



  1. My dear sister has 10, and it's a circus wherever they go. Seriously.

  2. I have always been fascinated with large families...when I had two kids, 4 was large..I have 4 kids now and 10 seems large. I feel that if you can love them and care for them..have as many as you want! I think big families are awesome! And, I remember reading a Dr. Sears book years ago and someone asked them why they had so many children (I believe they had 8) the mom answered.."The world needs my children" that! You have a beautiful family Jen!!

  3. I don't have a clever answer to that. But, I will say this. I grew up in 7 kids and I LOVED it, and I love having that many siblings now. That said, I can't imagine EVER having that many kids of my own. It overwhelms me to even think about. So, mostly, i just admire anyone (YOU) that can and does have that many kids. And face it Jen, your family IS sort of a circus show, albeit fun and funny. You can't deny it. hahahaha LOVE YOU!

  4. Just kindly remember they all asked if she was your first!! Not too bad for a MIL to be.

  5. I think the number "allowed" in our culture is rapidly shrinking... "/

    Too bad, because there's nothing more fun than being from a big family. And I think siblings are some of the best teachers.


  6. I love having little ones still in a shopping cart. Old ladies ooh and ahh. They often ask how many, and when I say 8 I usually get "the look" that says you're depleting the earth's resources. But I know I'm raising righteous children that can make an important difference in society.

  7. I think sometimes people don't know when to mind their own business. You're not asking THEM to care for your kids. You're providing well for them, they're beautiful and intelligent (Right? At least most of the time?) So back off and don't look all horrified when confronted with a large family. I don't understand the reaction myself - large families are so much fun!

  8. I have 5 and some people - actually most people - are shocked by that. I think the average is 2 if you are not in the church. All I have to say is they are missing out because the bigger your family the greater your life!
    My oldest two are a boy and a girl and I will never forget that time after time people would walk up to me in the mall or whereever and say "Oh how sweet you have a boy and a girl - lucky you, I guess you are done". I was shocked and was like..."Um no but thanks".
    People are so funny!

  9. This is an interesting question. Which made me think. I am single, no children. I have one sister. I am Catholic and attended a Catholic School for 12 years. I grew up not being a stranger to large families. I never thought anything about large familes growing up. One of my best friends was one of seven and I LOVED, LOVED being at their house.

    I will tell you that I don't know many people anymore with large families and if I were to met someone say in an airport and struck up the same conversation, I'm afraid I would have said something stupid too. I would not mean it to be judgemental, I think just surprised as I no longer find this to be the norm in my life.

    Is this helpful? I don't think seven is too many. It would be too many for me. But, I certainly think you are a wonderful Mom with a lovely family and great kids.

    Perhaps when people seemed shocked it is how they are expressing that they can't imagine being able to mother seven children.

    Ok, now I'm rambling and I have no idea if I'm being at all effective in what I'm trying to say! LOL

  10. First of all, I'm in total AWE of you. Anyone can have a kid or two, but seven? And seven GORGEOUS kids?? It hardly seems fair. There's definitely something special about a mommy of seven who can keep it together like you do. Plus, you're still adorable. All the pics of you look great! That hardly seems fair either. :)

    I love large families. I'm an only child and I always wanted lots of siblings. My mom was one of nine and she wanted me to be spoiled instead. Mission accomplished. She now wishes she had more.

  11. People say dumb things. You may be surprised to know that I get the stink eye in many Mormon culture circles because I "only" have 3. Somehow because I "only" have 3, I am less than. People, all people, say dumb things. Myself included! ;)

  12. The comment I'm tired of is "are you having any more?" Hello! Isn't 7 enough??? :)

  13. Jen - Oh how I wish I could say "I have seven kids"...I know I shouldn't envy, but I do. Three babies, that's all I get. (And two of them came by the way of step-kids.)

    So I embrace those moms who have been blessed, like you, with several children. Wear that burp cloth proudly while you exclaim to the world that He has blessed you with seven...well...soon to be an eighth with the new son-in-law.

    (I really am excited for this new chapter of "motherhood" that comes with a new son(in-law).