Wednesday, February 19, 2014
So, is this your first?
So, yesterday David and I stopped in for a sub sandwich since they have their six inch chicken breast on sale for $3. There was a lady two people ahead of us and she kept eyeing my belly. And, then finally, "When are you due?"
I said, "End of May." And, she said, "Oh, my birthday is in May!"
I smiled and she asked, "So is this your first?"
Now, I've been asked this a million times and sometimes I just want to say, "Yes, Yes it is!", but I always respond honestly, and I said, "No, actually it's number 11."
Well, her jaw hit the floor and then she said (you guessed it), "Do you know what causes that?"
David, always a people person and likes to joke, said, "Oh, it's in the water!"
She looked at me and said, "You need to stop _______ ____ ____."
Now, if you have over three kids you probably don't even need to use your imagination here, because you may have been on the receiving end of this type of comment yourself, and if you don't have over three, you can probably imagine what she said.
And, friends, I was shocked.
The entire place heard her say it.
I think I made a shocked face, and then I said, "Well, we're married. We're allowed to do that."
And, she didn't stop there. Oh, no. She kept on.
She said to David, "Well you do have a job, right?"
Then, David, remember he's a people person and always pretty friendly unless someone just insulted his wife, said very flatly (and with much self control), "No, I usually stand out on that street corner with a sign."
If you've ever been to Tulsa then you know the significance of this statement. Many a street-stander have made a good living here on the corner with a sign. But, I digress..........
She said, "Oh, you do not!" and then laughed, finally ending with, "Well, I SURELY couldn't imagine having 11 kids! Congratulations."
This woman was probably 70 years old. She should have known better.
This wasn't the first rude comment I've ever heard and I'm sure it won't be the last. Really, I was shocked, but I wasn't upset about it. You know, all of us large family mothers imagine up all sorts of "shut them up" come backs, but really, if I had been harsh back to her, what kind of impression would she have had of large families then? She clearly already wasn't in support of them, and my rudeness back to her could have cemented that in her mind. People don't get won to Christ with hatefulness. (I'm not saying she hasn't already been won to Christ, but the fruit certainly wasn't in that conversation if you know what I mean.) I tried to keep it friendly, and thanked her when she congratulated me (even after she had humiliated me in front of the entire store.) But, you know what? She even more humiliated herself. After she was gone, the servers apologized for her. She'll be judged for her rudeness one day, but it won't be by me. Really I feel sorry for her. In all her years, maybe she's never experienced the kind of joy that my children bring me every day. The kind of joy that makes people see children as blessings and not burdens or annoyances.
Regardless, sometimes those comments do sting a bit. Just last month a friend from church asked me how far along I was. After I answered she said, "Oh you look much farther along than that!"
And, she is my friend.
Well, maybe not after that.
I think it's really a lesson to us, especially as Christians, to think before we speak and let our speech always be seasoned with grace.
And, when we respond, let it always be seasoned with grace.