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The Greatest Gift

Since the birth of my third child, going out to stores to do errands has been a wild ride to say the least. I don’t know what I’d do without my double stroller to cart around my 5 month old and 1 year old, with my 3 year old trailing beside us. Thankfully, they’re pretty agreeable children, especially if I keep the snacks coming. But there’s always an outing now and again where at least one child is having a rough go, and it spirals into a cranky, loud situation for everyone, including myself at times!

No matter if my kids are as pleasant as can be, or having a meltdown, there will always be at least two people, if not more, who well-meaningly look at me and say, “You’ve got your hands full!” I kid you not, this happens almost every time we leave the house. I cannot believe it. And for every person that says this out loud, I know there are a few more who are just looking at me and thinking it. Again, I know they’re well-meaning and simply acknowledging the busyness of our little caravan.

But on a deeper level, it saddens me that our noisy little troop is a unique sight out in the world today. When the average number of children in a family is 1.5, it’s no wonder my three children are a shock. I can’t help but assume that this decrease in family size is because of the culture of death, culture of convenience, and obsession with material things. My family with three small children (and God-willing, more one day!) is sadly an anomaly today.

So after hearing this comment one too many times, I’ve decided it’s time to capture these moments for a greater purpose, instead of quietly letting it go, or even laughing in agreement at their statement. When someone looks at us and says, “Your hands are full,” I instead respond with a smile and say, “Yes, but so is my heart!”

Whenever I’ve had the boldness to say this, people’s faces of shock and concern melt into faces of tenderness and appreciation. It’s my hope and prayer that this small response stays with them and reminds them that children are not a burden, but the greatest gift from above.


Kathleen LeBlanc lives with her husband, Jesse, in Brantford, Ontario. They have three sweet children here on earth, and one in Heaven. Kathleen and Jesse are Catholic worship leaders in their band, Found Together, and also host a marriage ministry called The Catholic Date Night. Learn more about them at or on Instagram @wearefoundtogether

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