One of the things about having a family as large as ours is that everywhere we go people will comment about our six kids. Usually it’s something innocent like, “You must have your hands full” or “WOW! That’s a lot of kids.” And sometimes we have those less than nice interactions like “What’s wrong with you people?” or “How can they possibly have quality childhoods with that many in the house?” Some people are nice and some people are mean. But people will be people after all.
But sometimes we encounter people like Uncle Mony.
Uncle Mony owns a T-Shirt and souvenir store in Galveston, Texas. He is an immigrant from Israel who moved to Texas twenty years ago.
We stopped by his store on Wednesday to buy some souvenirs from our time at the beach. His store was pretty unique because it had a grill in the back corner selling burgers, seafood and ice cream to go along with the hats, T-shirts, towels, magnets etc. We decided to eat there because the kids and I wanted some seafood, there were hamburgers for Kayla and, let’s be honest, all eight of us were already out of the car. Loading and unloading takes a lot more time than you might think.
While we were eating Uncle Mony came by to chat. He asked questions about our family and shared some of his thoughts on foster care and adoption. They were ALL positive which is rare when we encounter strangers. He told us that it did’t matter how you got into the family. He said it only mattered that you got into the family and that all the kids were the same no matter what.
Sometimes people will ask questions about the kids and how they came to be a part of our family. We don’t like it when people do that because we don’t share their stories with anyone. Especially not with strangers in front of the kids. That’s their privilege not ours. He wasn’t like that. He asked kids about themselves. He asked about school. He encouraged them.
He stood talking to us while we ate and then he told the kids that everyone could have a scoop of ice cream on the house. While we had our ice cream he went and got the kids (including the babies) free T-shirts. He told them that every time we came to Galveston they needed to “go see their Uncle Mony” and that he would give them something for free.
I don’t know if we’ll ever see Uncle Mony again but I’m glad we go to meet him. He might have just made up for all of the mean people we met along the way.