This is the most common question I am asked, when we are out in public with our seven beautiful children and my pregnant tummy! This last week on our holiday, was no exception! We got the question several times a day. On our way down to the beach; at the beach playing in the sand; in the supermarket, walking at the Knysna Waterfront; in the coffee shop; in the restaurant etc.
When people notice the rather large group of people, you see the surprising look on their faces as they observe the different ages, next you will see them counting, then the question in their eyes and the words will just spill out - most of the time halfway through the question, you will see the sheepish look on their faces as they realize that it’s a rather silly question, and that you have obviously heard the question many times before!
How do I feel about the question? I absolutely love people asking: “Are they all yours?!”
There are two kinds of people asking The Question and even before they ask, I can tell in which of two categories they fall.
The first category are those people who just don't like children or they think you are stupid having children in this 'overpopulated' and evil world. They are mostly women in the age group between 40 and 65 years - sad and bitter....!
You will see the expression on their faces, the negative body language and the way they look down on the children, when asking The Question. I love to answer them - almost like having an opportunity to have victory over evil - my already smiling face will grow bigger and I will proudly declare: 'Yes they are ALL mine and they are such a blessing'!
Next you will see how irritated they become with the way you answered them, they will utter a sneering look at my children and try to find a flaw, a wrong move by one of the children - something that will confirm their believe that so many children can by no means be a blessing, only a unnecessary nuisance and exhausting. Then they will walk away and if in the supermarket, make sure they don't enter the same aisle as us again.
But, there is also another group. These are mostly younger women and older men (grandpa's). You immediately see their amazed faces, the delight when they look at, especially the little ones, the interesting look of adoration in their eyes when they look at or me and they cannot wait to ask The Question. The Question will most often be the introduction to a conversation about the children, admiration for people that have the courage to have large families, how seldom you see large families now days, how blessed big families are and bits and pieces of their own family and children. Often telling about their grandma or grandpa who where part of a large family. The conversation always end with applause to the well behaved children - taking in account more of half of them are six years and younger.
To answer The Question to the second group makes my day! It gives me the courage to keep going, to train my children to be even more well behaved, look out to help people in public wherever they can and to let their lights shine to the glory of God!
Every time we open our bus's doors and seven children pop out, I feel proud, but small too.
Proud that they are mine, proud to know I love being their Mom; proud that I'm a Life-giver; proud to know the Lord entrusted me with these eternal souls!
But small too. Small to see the love in my children's eyes when they look at me; small when I think God trusts me, a sinful human being, to train His children; small to know I'm no supermom, only moving one step at a time, but still He can use me to influence the world!
Yes, they are ALL mine! And you know what - often I cannot believe it myself!