One day last week, we were doing a little shopping at Walmart. While Lindsey was looking for some new jeans, a girl randomly walked up and started talking to us. For some reason, people just do that to us on a pretty regular basis. Our friendly faces, perhaps? But I digress…
Anyway, Lindsey went to try on the jeans, and Kathryn and I tried to politely extricate ourselves from the conversation with the girl. As we were walking away, the girl, who told us she is eleven years old asked Kathryn, “Where do you go to school?”
“Oh, wow. I really feel sorry for you…”
And here is the part where I, as a homeschool mom, brace for whatever Kathryn is about to be told. I expect the girl to continue with something along the lines of “because you don’t have friends to play with” or “because you’re at home all day” or any number of other things that usually aren’t true but still make me cringe.
However, what the girl said utterly shocked me.
She said, “I feel sorry for you having to be home with them all the time.” I realized she was no longer talking to Kathryn, but to me. This child was telling me that she felt sorry for me because I “have to” be with my kids. All I could think was what has this child heard or been told to make her think that this would be such a miserable thing to “have to” do?
I didn’t answer as eloquently as I’d have liked because I was so taken aback, but I said something like, “No, it’s wonderful. I LIKE being with my kids.”
As this child’s statement continues to float around in my brain, I wonder again at the society we live in, where children in general are looked at as more of a burden than a blessing. More of a liability than a gift. Even this young girl believes it to be so. That breaks my heart.
That’s not what God says about children:
“Sons are indeed a heritage from the LORD, children, a reward… Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them…” Psalms 127:3-5
I don’t “have to” be with my children; I choose to. I want them to know and understand that God has a plan and purpose for their lives, that He knew them in the womb, and that even when I am completely frustrated with them, my children are a gift I don’t deserve, given generously to me by my heavenly Father.
The girl’s words also have me thinking about my own words and actions. Though I wholeheartedly believe that my children are a blessing, do I make every effort to make sure they know that I feel that way?