My 4 children, on 3 Kings Day
Yesterday, while I was subbing as an aide in an 5th/6th grade combo classroom for kids with Autism, I overheard a conversation between the head teacher and another aide. They were discussing a meeting to be held after school over a student and the head teacher expressed concern that the Mother is not able to make good decisions for her child since she is one of 5. At first she said, and I quote, "her and her 7 children!". The aide corrected her and said "Doesn't she have 5?" The other teacher responded "Oh, yes, five. Whatever." The aide agreed and added "once you have over 3..."
As I stood at the white board, knowing this child's Mother and her sweet family, knowing all of the challenges this family faces- twins, a daughter with autism, an infant, a busy schedule, and being on the brink of having a 5th child myself I took this somewhat roughly.
The teacher was inferring that because this child's Mother had 5 children, she was not able to address all of her needs adequately.
Now, it is true that sometimes my kids will not get their homework finished on time- although they almost always get it done. It is true that sometimes a deadline for a project will come up and we are hurrying to do it the night- or even the morning- of.
On the other hand, it is also true that my children are very capable, independent and very, very much cared for. Each one was brought into this world with joy, responsibility, understanding and love. What a great environment for them to grow up as individuals in.
At one point in the teacher's conversation, they seemed to realize that I- as a Mother of 4- was in the room. The conversation became quiet and they began to discuss something else.
A little while later, my immediate reaction was softened by a calm, peaceful feeling. I know what I am doing. Nothing could bring me more joy than having a plethora of children and almost all those I know who have chosen the same route feel exactly the same as I do. Having children fulfills our divine potential- whether we have 1, 3 or many more than that.
What is important, is that we as individuals, teachers, people, take time to understand where people are coming from and treat them with love, respect and understanding.
I am so thankful for this chance to parent 5 children. It will be hard. But it will be joyful.