Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Old people rock!

Today, an elderly couple stopped to chat with me. The woman mentioned that she has two great grandbabies. She saw my brood and asked if they were all mine (NOT in the usual condescending tone). When I confirmed they were, she smiled and said, "Four is a great number. It's a perfect size for a family." I smiled and said, "We think so."

I can't tell you how nice it was to hear something like that. So often, my gaggle of kids is met with wide eyes and a horrified, "Are they ALL yours?" I must point out that my kids are very well behaved. People make these comments while the kids are standing right beside me in the super market or are sitting on a bench with me at the park. It's not as though two are attempting to do a trapeze act from the light fixtures while one rolls around on the floor and the baby's busy pickpocketing someone's wallet.

So I was very grateful for the kind and accepting words of that woman.

She reminded me of Cleo, who lived across the street when we moved in. She moved to a nursing home years ago, but she was a lovely elderly woman in my neighborhood. Cleo was 93 and had eight children and more grandchildren and great grandchildren than she could remember.

When I was at my wit's end with colicky premature twins and a husband who worked the night shift when he wasn't deployed, I would pack up the twins and go for my daily constitutional. I'd pack them in the stroller and walk around the neighborhood. I'd stop to visit Cleo on her porch and we'd chat, mainly about babies (hers were born at home).

One time, I tried to make a hasty exit when the twins were particularly fussy. Cleo didn't even bat an eye. Whereas we always hurriedly left restaurants when the twins made so much as a peep which caused people's heads to snap around violently so that they could glare at us; it didn't bother Cleo in the slightest.

I told her they were hungry and started to rush away. After she asked if I was nursing and I assured her I was, she said, "Then just feed 'em. In my day, they got hungry and we fed 'em. No need to get up and go. You've got what you need. "

That was when I was still new to nursing and nursing in public was often a tricky fumbling disaster. So I was so relieved to hear her say such a thing. Not long after that, I became quite the pro at nursing in public and I think Cleo's reassurance played a big role in that.


Alternative Housewife said...

Really, people comment on four kids? That's totally odd to me, but I guess (hadn't thought about it until now) smaller families might be becoming more of the norm. I rather like the idea of a big brood though.

Nothing better than compliments and pleasant insight from strangers.

Giselle said...

You trained your baby to pickpocket people's wallets?? I gotta get some remedial training in that. Mine aren't earning their keep!