People sometimes say things to me about having a big family. As in, me and Micah and our three kids. That big family. I try to acknowledge in some way that I can see their point, but really, I can’t.
Once or twice I’ve taken the time to give them some context: I have 11 siblings. Micah has 5. Three kids is hardly “big.” In fact, where I come from, three kids is considered “small.”
But I am acutely aware that others may feel crowded by a family of 5. We’re in a different social circle now. It’s harder to make friends with the childless, or even those with one child. We really do have to take into account the children’s preferences when going places, and often that means forgoing the group activity and doing things by ourselves.
And sometimes, even if we aren’t crowding, even if we are well-behaved and quiet and polite and clean and properly dressed and well-spoken, even if we are the very model of a modern urban family, we simply aren’t wanted.
Case in point: we have some friends who are moving. Their apartment is bigger than ours by at least a few precious square feet. It has backyard access. It’s 1/2 block from a great school and 1 1/2 blocks from Prospect Park (instead of the nearly 1 1/2 miles we are from it now). And, miraculously, it’s in our price range. But as soon as the landlord heard we had kids, we were out of the running as a possible tenant. They weren’t interested in families.
I had prepared myself for that possibility when I first looked at the apartment. I had purposefully prevented myself from getting attached to the idea of moving there. I had even started writing this blog post in preparation for the news that our family was just too big. But there’s nothing like actually hearing the words.
So here we are. In the landlord’s eyes we are much too big for that small apartment. In our eyes, that apartment is plenty big for our small family. Our “big” is their “small.” Our “small” is their “big.”
Let’s call the whole thing off.