Saturday, February 22, 2014

We Make a Scene Simply By Showing Up

As a general rule, I try not to take my homeschooled large-family brood out in public during the school day. We're not doing anything illegal here, but it's just best not to draw attention to yourselves if you don't have to, ya know?

But, Alan had labs one morning this week and we were two days past the point of needing to buy groceries, we went. We paraded in the front doors of WalMart and began loading a cart with small children. The greeter, after a friendly greeting, of course, bugged her eyes a little and asked "Is school out!?" 

I smiled and laughed, "No, we homeschool."

Meanwhile, she was counting heads. "How many you got!? 5??" 

"Yes ma'am. I guess you don't see a crowd like us come in too often, huh?"

To which she waved a hand at me and answered, "Oh, I had 6."

Alrighty, then.

A little more banter with our new greeter friend (including the usual "just one girl!?"), and we were off to buy some groceries. We didn't get very far before we were drawing more attention.

"Are these all yours?" an almost-but-not-quite-elderly lady asked.

"Yes ma'am!" I answered with a smile.

She tickled Daniel's foot dangling from the seat of the cart and said, "I could just take one of these boys home with me!" 

As she walked away I made an obligatory remark about having plenty of boys, to which she replied, "Mine are gone."

"Oh?" I asked, expecting a comment about them growing up and leaving her.

"Yeah, they died."

With that she disappeared around the end of the bakery display leaving me mumbling my stammered sympathies.

I'm proud of our 5 kids, but mercy it's simpler shopping alone. Not only do you not have to answer nearly as many questions, you also don't end up getting talked into buying clearance breakfast pastries!

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