"boy, you have your hands full"


A lady at the grocery store must have felt my two boys were being too loud today because she gave me 'the eyeball' and said, "Boy, you have your hands full. I hope they still nap."


What 8-year-old naps, lady? And, also, mind your business.

I do not have my hands full. This is, in fact, the lightest my hands have been since I became a mother 8 years ago. I had just the one newborn, then, and I may have thought my hands were full, but they were not. Because shortly thereafter, I was pregnant and had a toddler. But still, my hands were not full.

Two years later, we were a foster family and I was parenting four-under-four. Yes, I had a 3-year-old, an 11-month-old, a 4-month-old, and a newborn. Ok, that was PRETTY close to full, I'll admit... The issue there was that I hadn't thought through what three non-walkers meant. I'll tell you what it meant: it meant wearing one baby while pushing a double stroller LITERALLY EVERYWHERE.

More recently, for three and a half years, I had three boys. Loud, boisterous, energetic, silly, prone-to-running-and-swordfighting BOYS. They started out as a 5-month-old, a two-year-old, and a five-year-old. But, as children are known to do, they grew up. They were 3, 5, and 8 years old when that stage of our lives ended this summer. 

So, lady with the judgmental eyes, I do not have my hands full. I would venture to say that none of us do. None of us are doing enough. Few of us are really giving all we can to help others.

Someday soon, my hands will open wide again and more children will be in my family. Today is not that day for us, as today we are healing. But trust me, that day will come. 

Some stranger will see me pushing a double stroller, or holding a baby with one hand while I scold a toddler, or corralling a bunch of preschoolers. And the stranger may think (perhaps keeping their thoughts to themselves), "her hands are full."

But my hands will not be full. Because there is always room for us to do more.