A READER ASKS

Simple Grace - - Mood Index -

“Dear Lord, this week­end I’m tak­ing my six kids to the amuse­ment park, and I’m al­ready dread­ing the re­cep­tion we’ll get. No mat­ter where we go, peo­ple carry on over the size of my fam­ily like it’s some sort of sin. They ask ‘Are all those yours?’ then tsk-tsk or raise their eye­brows in ob­vi­ous crit­i­cism. And that’s not the half of it: To­tal strangers have told me, ‘You know, there is a thing called birth con­trol,’ while my chil­dren have been re­ferred to as ev­ery­thing from a ‘herd’ to a ‘lit­ter.’ And last week­end, af­ter a woman at the mall watched us get out of our mini­van, she laughed and called it a clown car! If my chil­dren hadn’t been in lis­ten­ing range, I would have told her what she was. I don’t re­gret hav­ing a big fam­ily for a minute, but all these mean-spir­ited digs are get­ting tough to take. How do I cope? Is it ever right to snap back?”

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