I often hear people counting to four as I’m out and about with our boys. I’ve learned to count to four in several languages now and will soon be hearing a new number-five. Instead of hearing just yi, er, san, si or satu, dua, tiga, empat or one, two, three, four, I’ll hear a wu, lima, or five at the end of the string of numbers. Each of those numbers is one of my kids and in a little less than four months my fifth will be born and get added to the mix. Sometimes I’m asked if they’re all mine, which does not offend me as I know locals and ex-pats alike who sometimes have other people’s children with them. And there’s usually a confirmation that all the littles with me are indeed boys. Dress for very young children can be nebulous, so again, this question doesn’t bother me.
Then comes the best part. The person who has counted and asked a few questions says the phrase
You are so lucky!
Oh me, oh my, that makes my heart swell! I hear this at least once a week when I’m out and about with my boys. And my boys get to hear it, too! They hear other people say how lucky their Mama is to have them in her life instead of hearing her asked questions as if ignorance, stupidity, and a lack of pattern recognition resulted in her socially unacceptable number of children spaced a socially unacceptable number of months apart.
I usually say that I am indeed lucky and try to also say that these little boys in tow were gifts from God, something the person I’m talking to may not have heard someone say before. We live in a multi-cultural place were most of the cultures have deep-seated superstitious beliefs where everything seems to have good or bad luck. So someone telling me I’m lucky isn’t just an off-hand comment-it means something to them to be lucky. I pray it means something that I attribute what they see as lucky back to the God who gave me these gifts.
These children are gifts. I do not at all take lightly the fact that God has given me the great privilege, the holy and amazing experience, of being pregnant and parenting these children. Each child with his own unique appearance, personality, interests, quirks, and challenges. This child I carry is also a unique individual who we will meet in the not-so-distant future. We don’t know how in the world we’re going to parent five kids. When people ask how I stay home with four kids and homeschool all I can say is, “By the grace of God!” and I absolutely mean it!! I just do what I have to do and God gives me everything I need to do it. I know He will do the same with five little ones in tow.
And I know as I go about in our community that I’ll hear that additional number as people count the little lives God has put into Toffer’s and my care. Then I hear those great words, “You are so lucky!”