To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Time to tell the Whole Story

You know the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words"? That's true sometimes. Sometimes it isn't though. How many times do we see a picture that someone posts on social media and make decisions and assumptions based on that one photo? Sometimes our assertions are correct but there is also a big part of the story that a picture doesn't give you. A picture is a glimpse, a moment, a second into someone's life. It's not the whole story.
I was talking with a friend the other day and what she told me had me laughing and thinking, "oh man, does everyone think that?"

 I posted this picture a few months ago:

This is us at Olive Garden. We look happy don't we? Some might even think it's pretty amazing that we have this many little ones in a restaurant and we're all happy. Some even think that this picture is a good summation of our trip out to eat. It's not. What you don't see in this picture is me and Emma. Emma is in my arms as I take the photo one-handed. I am wrestling her little arm down to keep her from knocking the phone out of my hand so I can get one picture of my family at a restaurant. Emma never left my arms for this meal. What this picture doesn't tell you is that she screamed for 15 mins because she did not want to be in her car seat but she was still too little at the time this picture was taken to be in a high chair. So I held her. The whole time. I didn't even eat my meal. We boxed it up and I ate at 9 pm after all the kids were in bed. I stood for this whole meal, while holding Emma walking around the table cutting up food, helping the waitresses get the food to the right kid and refill waters. Ben was also just as busy with another baby needing his attention and answering endless questions from the older kids. Now, knowing all this you are probably wondering why I even posted a picture. I posted this picture because I was so proud of us for actually being out in a restaurant with all the kids and the only issue we were having was Emma being fussy (no big news there...she has been fussy from the start!). This was the first time we had eaten out in a restaurant since Emma was born. It was a huge undertaking for us and I was really amazed it was going as well as it was...and to some it likely appeared it wasn't going that great at all. I was exhausted and my arms ached and Ben was tired but the kids had a great time. None of them had ever been to Olive Garden before and it's now their favorite restaurant.

Don't get me wrong. We have children who generally do very well in restaurants, which is the only reason we attempted it in the first place. My point is that not every trip out can be predicted when you have kids, and especially so when babies are involved. There are times things go flawlessly and then there are times nothing seems to go right and everyone is acting up. That is what you call life with kids. We do have certain expectations of our kids and we correct consistently behaviors we do not want to see them exhibiting but we do that at home...not at the restaurant. Even kids who are taught well misbehave though so if you see a family out in a restaurant and the kids are acting up don't be quick to judge them. We can never know the big picture. Even parents who are teaching their kids well have kids who act up sometimes. In those times the parents need our love and compassion not our judgment and criticism. Just like a picture doesn't give you the whole story, a 1/2 hr in a restaurant watching another family also doesn't give you the whole story.

Then again...some pictures need no explanation:

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