Not too long ago we went out to dinner with all of the kids to celebrate some good news. It was an old fashioned burger place with picnic tables outside. Perfect for our large group, we used all three of their high chairs and put them at the ends of the table. :)
We were eating dinner kind of early and it was pretty quiet outside. Then this woman came and sat down at a table close to us with three teenage girls. From the moment she laid eyes on us she had a look of disgust on her face. She wasn't hiding it either.
Now I am normally really open to people who are curious about our family. I don't mind the occasional question or comment. I get am used to people looking and trying to figure out if they are all ours or what we are doing with these five kids so young.
This lady was not this typical person. She was obviously staring with a scowl on her face and allowing her daughters to "playfully" make faces at my kids. I was getting irritated and uncomfortable but tried really hard to enjoy our night out as a family. At one point the woman couldn't help herself and said, "You sure have your hands full." I replied with a smile and said, "Yes, I do...full of good things."
She wasn't happy with my response, it didn't satisfy her. She asked if our girls were twins I let her know that they are not but close in age. Again I was trying to avoid her very obvious stares and focus only at our table.
Moments like this are hard because I am tempted to start stressing about what her problem was. I shouldn't even concern myself but I started worrying about my kids' behavior...the funny thing was everyone was happy. We had a wonderful dinner, everyone ate and did great with no meltdowns.
As she walked by to throw things in the garbage she turned her head and glared at our kids. We minded our own business....I was very tempted to make an issue out of it but we were celebrating and I didn't want to draw attention in front of the kids.
There will be moments like this again. It is frustrating and am sure I let it bother me too much. Later that night I was still stewing about the whole thing. But as I prayed about what had happened I realized that I am setting an example for my kids. I can teach them to choose to fight every battle and let other people make them angry or I can teach them that we can't control how other people feel but I do have control over how I feel and live my life.