I shared some of our trip to Asheville on the blog and one of the things that kept playing in my head was how many questions (and looks!) we got about our family.
In three days we were asked a handful of times what the kids ages were, or how far apart they were, and one man even told us that we “had our own little camp!” I’m not sure what that means but Camp Yoder Toter sounds like a pretty fun place!
The last morning at breakfast an older man sat and STARED at us for a solid 20 minutes. It was uncomfortable. Maybe he was just daydreaming, I don’t know. I was almost on the brink of saying something because I obviously had not had enough coffee yet and was feeling a little edgy.
Nonetheless, it got me thinking on the way home- WHY IS IT SO ODD FOR US TO SEE PARENTS WITH THEIR CHILDREN?
Well let’s consider this:
At age 3 or 4 you send them to preschool anywhere from 2-5 days per week.
At age 5 they go to full-time kindergarten, Monday-Friday 9 am- 3:30 pm. Usually the mom goes back to work so she’ll pick the kids up somewhere around 5 or so. You will now have this routine for the next 13 years.
When you get up on a Sunday morning and go to church, most babies or small children are also put into the nursery at church. Then as they get older the children will have their own classes and Sunday School- until the child is around 12 or so they don’t sit next to you in the pew.
We have sports and dance and so many things where the kids are off with another adult or a trusted caregiver.
NONE of these things are wrong! I’m the first to admit that some days I just need a break from my kiddos.
However, as a society, when it becomes an odd thing for people to be out and about with their children, well, it concerns me. (Would it matter if our kids were 15, 13, and 11, because then we would not look as insane?)
I know that some people are just genuinely curious and well-meaning.
And I’m always happy to talk about my kids and their ages!
I just think we need to reevaluate how we feel about small kids.
Are they a nuisance or a blessing? Do we prefer to have them shuttled off to school or the nursery so they don’t “disrupt” our time.
And to the older generation, are you encouraging those in their child-bearing (or adopting) years to consider children as a blessing and trying to help (babysitting, discipling) them raise their kids to be worthwhile citizens?
Just thinking out loud here! Love to hear your thoughts on this! Do you think people are just being curious or are people genuinely surprised to see people with such little children? Maybe I’m just being a little oversensitive?