Monday, July 8, 2013

Shameless (and a 4th of July Weekend)

I got one of those looks today – the head-shaking, eye-rolling, pursed-lips looks of disbelief that say – without actually needing to say a word at all – something like, “The irresponsibility of people – having children. (Shudder.) And the nerve – bringing those children out in a public place. You disgust me.”

While I understand that not every place is a place where children belong (you won’t catch me bringing my brood into a fancy restaurant or obliviously letting a baby cry in a movie theater) Wal Mart seems to me pretty fair game. It’s a safe zone for shopping with kids in tow because, in general, those hoping to find well groomed, perfectly behaved, respectable people . . . know to shop elsewhere. Whole Foods maybe? But Wal Mart? Live and let live, people. Live and let live.

Still, I suppose, even at Wal Mart, we deserved that look – my three children and I -- because, while no one was yelling, no one was running, and no one was throwing food, our cart was directly in front of the the bags of ice! Directly. In. Front. 

We were standing there – bagged groceries in tow -- waiting for Abe and Goldie to catch up to us so we could drive ice cream home to a sick little Daisy (I dare say we would not have escaped with just a look of utter disdain had this particular individual known that the three children with me were a mere half of the terrors I had carelessly introduced into this world).

So, we were blocking his path. . . . And, Jesse was fiddling with the door handle a bit. The look was wholly understandable. Heaven knows savages like us wouldn’t have even known how to respond to a simple, “Excuse me.”

Still, my hackles raised – as they generally do when anyone looks at my children with anything other than adoration; and my mind began storming up responses about this man’s classy behavior. I wanted to angrily ask him if he would prefer we leave the baby-making in this country to the uneducated and ignorant. I wanted to demand what was so horribly offensive about a mom who is providing financially, educationally, emotionally and spiritually for her children. I wanted his thanks for the tiny little future benefits to society I was raising. Society members who will -- heaven help us all -- smile and hold doors for mom’s with grocery carts laden with children.

But that was defensive, angry me. As we headed out into the parking lot – Penny showing me how she could skip, Abe pulling bags of groceries out of the cart and helpfully asking me if I wanted them in the bed of the truck or not, Goldie excitedly ripping her tiny new Lego figure open, Jesse scrambling to get the roll of bubble tape he had dropped, and Anders, well, looking absolutely darling as usual – I realized I didn’t actually care in the least that someone was unhappy with my life.

I didn’t need to justify anything to anyone because, truth be known, my life could be absolutely irresponsible. It could be ridiculous. It could be utterly indecent. . . .  And it wouldn’t in any way change the fact that I love it. I unabashedly adore it.

It’s shameful I suppose to take so much joy in an existence that (apparently) causes others so much misery and distress. But there it is. My husband is my favorite person in the universe. I have a house full of tiny kids. Lots of them. (Gasp.) And I like them so much I might even have another. It’s pretty great.

Here the eight of us are brazenly enjoying our 4th of July weekend together. (And brazenly oversharing the pictures from it.)
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“Abe? Do you really want to be remembered like that in every picture?”
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Yes. I guess you do. (Seriously, he does this on purpose if I aim the camera at him.)
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(Luckily I sometimes go into stealth picture taking mode.)
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“Hey Mom! Write in your journal about my orange face!”
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Mike keeping Anders safe from the smoke detector. (It is placed right next to the oven and goes off practically every time you open the oven door, so Anders is extremely wary of it.)
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One of my favorite Anders pictures ever. I could look at little banana eater all day long.
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Honestly. How could I not keep making babies with him???
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Sometimes even fun vacations have a few “time outs” in them . . .
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I know. Shameless. All of them. Us. Shameless. Horribly . . . wonderfully . . . shameless.

12 comments:

Jana said...

I looking at blogs on my computer anymore so I rarely comment because phone and iPads are so cumbersome with such things but I must do so right this minute while I am on the computer and have no excuse to get on here and say that I still read every post, despite my commentless self, and I think your kids are getting so big and perfect and yes, you should shamelessly have at least 3, 4, or 7 more! Lovely post. Lovely kids. Most loveliest of moms.

Jana said...

PS: I need that lake house.

Linn said...

Emphasis on the WONDERFULLY! I love this post so much. And I'm with you. I love my life. The end.

Perla said...

Oh what a great post, sister. I told you about my mean lady at Tom Thumb, i'm sure, and how I'll never go there again. But mostly I just want to comment on the photos. I love them all so much and your beautiful children. Oh, and Jason has the same Shelby cobra shirt as Mike. And i'm glad Anders is just eating a banana and not a gentle, banana person.
I might get to come to Utah in September!!! Tyler is getting married. But we don't know if we can afford it. But we're hoping! I've been thinking about you a lot. I miss you.

Jaymerz said...

I love this post, no one has to love your life but you!! Beautiful pictures, looks like so much fun!!

Elsie Park said...

Oh Nancy, this post was so wonderfully beautiful, seeing you and your precious family. LOVED IT!!!

elizabeth thompson said...

I love you Nancy Allison Allred (harris) to which nobody can deny..
That was supposed too sounds like the song we use to sing to your name, though i think it just sounded confusing. Haha.

Sarah Timmins said...

Hi Nancy!
It would be very easy to confuse that look of distain with the look of a sad, jealous, lonely heart.
Love you,
Sar

Michele Johnson said...

My own version of this post has been floating around in my head for some time. But now I just feel like writing, " Yah, what SHE said!" I LOVED this post!

I am very familiar with "the look" here in Washington state. My favorite experience, though, was in Costco when an older woman came up to me and with such a lovely face and said, " thank you for having ALL those children!"
Just when I started to think, "Wow. Finally, someone who appreciates my large family," she continued with, "Now there will be someone to pay for my Social Security!"
That was it. She walked away. Hmmmmm...

Nancy said...

Ha! Lovely one Michele. Well, points to her for cleverness . . . ;)

Thanks all for the comments everyone!

Monica Lynn said...

I love when other people's disdain for a loving crazy hectic sometimes yelling and screaming family life has the opposite effect and makes us notice and appreciate our lives even more! Yay for kiddos!

Mr.Mrs.Pack. said...

Such a good reminder that no one has to love your life but you! And I think you should have more beautiful and happy kids :)

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