"Oh my GOD! Look at all of them!"

Plymouth, Massachusetts.  October 2012.

The six Sheppards enter KT's Burger Bar looking for something to eat before our walking tour at the Jenney Museum.  Place is packed.  Like Sardines.  There's a table for us in the back right corner. 

As we make our way in, one of the patrons near the door looks at us with saucer eyes, counting the family members, elbowing the dude next to her violently, and not-at-all-quietly says, "Oh my God. Look at all of them!"

Maybe she had spotted something outside or behind us, like a quickly-vanishing flock of flying monkeys or a little trail of mice scootching along the floor.  But since I didn't see either of those things, I'm led to believe she was referring to us.  All of those Sheppards.

I don't know why this surprised me.  I don't know why it surprises me every single time I hear it.  There are a lot of us.  It was probably the contempt in this particular lady's voice that upset me so much.  There was an obvious disdain for children, especially "so many" of them.  I guess that's her prerogative.  Luckily for everyone involved, I wasn't asking her to take care of them for me.

My kids aren't perfect, but for nearing the end of a two week vacation in a packed-house, excessively-loud-already burger bar, way past lunch time, I would say they had exemplary behavior.  Too bad elbow lady wasn't close enough to witness it.  Not that it probably would have made a difference. 

Whenever I get this reaction to our family size, that Mama Bear thing kicks in.  Please don't talk disparagingly about my babies, especially in front of my babies.  There are all sorts of clever comments from strangers: 

Don't you know how this happens?  (Nope.  Will you please explain it to me?)
Boy are your hands full!  (Yup, full of good stuff.)
You must have the patience of Job.  (Good one!  Ask my kids about this.)
So, are you going to be the next Duggar family?  (Probably not, but we do do our laundry Duggar-style.  That's a whole 'nother blog post altogether.)
You trying for a basketball team?  (Well, as a matter of fact...)

That would be Week 13's Egg Photo...with evidence of a fertilized egg in there.

Shep#5 will be debuting in late November (and, if history is any indication, not a day sooner, I'm sure). 

We are thrilled to have been blessed with the gift of life.  And we will accept God's blessing and do our best in our call as parents in raising him/her.

We've got three super-excited big siblings (Leah is probably not going to be too happy about this, but time will tell and I'm sure prayer will help).  And we are just tickled pink (or blue).  Man, I love these kids.

And Shep#5, we love you too.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.  ~James 1:17


amy said...

Cannot overstate how excited I am about this! <3

Debbie said...

Well, if you read my comment from last night on the previous post, you know I'm standing in the Woooo hoooo corner on this one.

I will say this just as bluntly as I can. I truly believe that I (and much of my generation) showed deliberate defiance to God's plan with all our family planning and limitation. Our reasons just sound like a lot of wokking to me in hindsight. I wish with all of my heart that I had more children but I lacked your courage. You and Sam rock in my opinion.

I texted (is that really a word?)the husband with the news, and he was genuinely delighted as well. We need MORE Sheps in this world not less. (He did express a little hope that maybe Ben and Sam would get what he called "one for the team."

Me? I think a little Lisa Joyce would be just fine.


Denise said...

I know I've already shouted my congratulations on Facebook but wanted to let you know again how truly happy I am for your family. Debbie stated it best in her above comment about my generation. I agree. I wish I'd had more children and give you my utmost respect for having LOTS. Go team Shep!

Sharon said...

Jennie, a big huge CONGRATS to all of the Shep crew!!

This is wonderful news! I hope that you're feeling well (so far) - and that God will bless you with super-Mom strength! As far as Leah, I have a feeling that she is really going to enjoy a new sibling. Her very own *living doll*!!

My thought? "Oh my, God, look at all of them. Aren't they special?!"


And have a wonderful Easter!

Emily said...

I am so stinking thrilled for you guys! You truly ARE blessed! Congratulations! So you are the first person in a new wave of baby announcements....can't wait to see who's next! (you know our class always produces by at least 3 at a time) :)

Post a Comment

Before you go, I'd love to hear from you! Let me know what's on your mind! (Please and thank you.)

Back to Top