After Mary's 1st confession on Saturday morning I took advantage of the opportunity to go out with Will and Mary and took them to Friendly's for lunch. We were escorted to a cubbie that held 3 tables, one with 2 small children and the other with 5 little ones. The mother and father were shoveling food into the baby's mouth while simultaneously divying up 2 desserts and making sure everyone stayed at the table. They did a great job and I told them so on my way to the restroom. Later, after they left and the table was bussed, another mom arrived with 4 little boys, the oldest about 10, and a tiny baby dressed in pink. She told the oldest child to escort everyone to the potty, negotiated their order, and nursed the baby. I made sure I told her how good her kids were on our way out. She said with a weary smile that her husband had just left for a deployment.
While both families were at the restaurant I wanted to wave my hand in the air and say, "Me too, I'm in the mommy-of-many club!" However, it was refreshing to sit and eat without having to repeat, "Stop that. Eat your food. Don't poke, kick, hit, or pinch your sister," between bites. I took little glances at these mothers and had the queer feeling that they were thinking to themselves, "She only has 2 kids, what does she know of my effort and workload? Perhaps she is one of those wackos, judging me for having all these children."
After we got home I dug into the enormous pile of laundry needing to be folded, the papers that needed to be graded, and the boxes that needed to be packed and labeled. I thought about planning dinner and ironing church clothes before it struck me why I have had so many older folks stop me in the grocery and say, "I had 9, 6, 5 children." They were telling me they were part of the club too and understood the trials I was going through. There are comrades in our lives, unknown to us by sight, who have been there, done that, and gotten the t shirt. Let us remember that we are on a single phase of our lives and one day we will, God willing, be the little old lady in the grocery smiling at someone else's toddlers, saying, "I remember those days dear. God bless you and your beautiful children."