It happened to me again. The usual pleasantries were being exchanged, and in the course of conversation it came up that I have three boys under the age of six. Her response? “God bless you.”
I can’t count how many times I have heard that in the last year and a half since my youngest was born. At first it surprised me, perfect strangers offering up a prayer on my behalf. Eventually I got used to it and even grew to look forward to the comment, not only because it cracked me up, but also because it relieved me. Apparently, general consensus is it’s not easy to be the mother of three young boys. It makes me feel better about all the times I lose my patience with them, all the times I dream about going back to work full time. It helps me laugh at our every day mishaps, from the bloody noses to the eating of non-edible items (and absolutely nothing else!) to the collection of deceased cicadas outside my front door. Even the feat of peeing on three of four walls in one trip to the bathroom is little bit funnier. My easiest day is chaotic and now and then it helps to have the validation of a stranger.
On the other hand, I sometimes resent it. It sounds like they pity me. I don’t need to be pitied! I have the three most wonderful boys in the world, and I get to spend every day with them. I start and end each day with three big hugs and kisses, and receive countless cuddles in between. For every time I have to read a book about cockroach larvae, I also partake in the celebrations following a ladybug catch. For every meal that ends with the throwing of food, there is also the excitement of unexpectedly catching a pop fly in their mitt. I am there to console them when they fall, and to cheer them when they don’t. They have reopened my eyes to a world I had long-since forgotten. They have taught me to live and laugh and love again. The truth is God has blessed me.
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