Saturday, March 14, 2015
A little bit harried and a whole lot unorganized, we tumble out of the van and into the convenience store to grab our pizza, some drinks, and a bag of chips that will take more than a couple of minutes to agree upon...and on up to the register to pay.
The kind woman at the register who carried my pizza for me says something I can't quite remember and then, "Aren't one of your kids missing?" Now she's got my attention...and the attention of the woman beside me... This is part where I look into her face and see whether she is judging me to be a hero or something akin to a crazy cat lady collecting too many cats. Either extreme misses the mark. I look at my four younger kids and for a minute I am not sure of the correct response...I am acutely aware that my mind might not be sharp enough this moment...
"Actually, there's a few missing." I know I have a question mark on my face as I try to figure out if she thinks there should be one more Nicaraguan with me or if she has met my older children.
"How many children do you HAVE?" she says politely and nicely but still emphasizing the word "have".
"Seven," I say,"but only six living at home." Then I am asked the ages and rattle it all off as I've done this routine 100 times over...
The woman beside me comes to life..."Seven?"
Here it comes...and I brace myself for whichever extreme she'll decide I am...
But instead...quietly...with friendship in her eyes she says...
"You must really love children to do what you do. I love children too!"
"Yes, I do," I say, taken completely off guard.
And pizza paid for during the exchange, I walk out the door with my kids helping me carry our lunch and the same kind woman opening the door for me and chatting on about how awesome kids are and how her daughter is with her because she is home sick from school...and asking if I homeschool and breathing more encouragements my way.
And just like that, there's an extra lift in my step and my own chaos of the day is forgotten and I am determined to enjoy greasy pizza with my kids and let the unorganized day that brought me to convenience store pizza be the start of an impromptu pizza party.
And I remember that I can be that for others, and this is my prayer:
"The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed." ~Isaiah 50:4