Our town of Monument hosts a 1-hour kids’ bike parade before the real parade on the 4th of July. Approximately 500 kids wrap their bikes and trikes in red, white and blue tissue paper and walk through the parade route. The Jeubs carved out their own section waiting for the parade to start, and I naturally started a conversation with a dad right behind us.
“Man, you have how many kids?” he laughed. “Good for you but not for me!” And then he swore.
He didn’t realize how rude the comment was in front of my children (or me, for that matter). This dad for whatever reason wanted to make it audibly known that he would never be so crazy as to have so many children. (Hint: we’re crazy!)
My children heard it, and they noticed my simple smile in response to the rude comment. The Jeub Family is often misunderstood by folks who don’t know the joy of a large family, and this wasn’t any different. What was heartbreaking was that this father said this in front of his one child. A young boy, maybe 5, seated in a neatly decorated battery-operated toy Jeep. He showed no response. He didn’t look to be enjoying himself much. The parade started soon after and we marched through the Kiddy Parade. It didn’t take 30 seconds for my kids (or myself) to forget this short conversation and return to having a blast on the 4th of July.
Is a large family good for some and not for others? Who knows. Perhaps this father I met briefly in the parade was meant to have only one child. What I do know is this: the joy the Jeub kids have with one another is a joy that knows very little boredom or isolation. A life with many children is a rich life, full of blessing and adventure, full of opportunities, and a great parade to walk in life.
(Note: Every once in a while we adapt an older post into a new one. We try not to make a habit of it. This was adapted from a 2005 article.)