We have three kids now. That’s not a lot of kids. Really it’s not. There are people with tons of kids all over the country. Heck, all over the suburbs people have large families.
But here, in DC, in our neighborhood, three is a lot. I get stares (you can see people straining their basic math skills as they count in their heads). I get comments. When I was very pregnant, enjoying lunch with my kids at a coffee shop, a man stopped me and plainly pointed out that “You already have two!”
Recently, I took all three kids for a walk (not an uncommon activity for me) and a passerby in a car commented “you have 3 babies!” Another mother pointed us out to her daughter. I’ve been called brave, crazy, a pioneer, the list goes on.
One neighbor even implored me to consider hiring a nanny and not try to care for all three by myself. A letter to our neighborhood listserve singled us out– “Peter & Melanie, the family with THREE kids” Absurd, right?
I take all of this with good humor. It’s a bit silly to me honestly– I mean, it’s ONE more than the norm. How is that noteworthy? I can’t imagine it will be particularly noteworthy in Costa Rica. Then it occurred to me, these are special opportunities. These are gospel opportunities. What a wonderful opportunity for me to engage with people I wouldn’t have otherwise. For me to pray for them, for me to meet new neighbors.
So pray for me. Pray that as I usher three children onto the metro platform looking like something has nested in my hair and dripping with sweat, and repeating over and over “Do NOT get on the train tracks; hold my hand. Do NOT get on the tracks.” That I’ll remember this, pray that I won’t let these opportunities slide by.