It was at a pro-life mass a few years ago that our family had been asked to bring up the gifts. We made sure that everyone was neat and clean; we even had color coordinated outfits. We carried the gifts up to the front in a nice orderly, controlled fashion. Afterwards, a friend of mine who had four small children at the time commented that she wished her children would behave that well so that they could do something like that. I laughed heartily and told her what it was she DIDN'T see. When we had arrived at the back of church to get organized, my oldest son decided to start throwing a fit because he didn't get to carry up what he wanted to carry. He threw himself down on the floor and refused to cooperate. At this time, we were under the gun to get organized, so my husband pinned him up against the wall and told him in no uncertain terms that he was going to walk with us up to the front of the church. This was all going on while I was trying to organize everyone else and keep quiet the smaller kids who were also beginning to fuss while we were standing right next to the video camera, all the while praying that no one would turn around and witness all of this.
So, what's my point? When you see a family, whether it is large or small, and you begin to wonder why your family can't be like that, or how come your kids aren't that talented, or how come you can't sing, dance or build intricate machines like that family can...remember that things are not always as they seem. Those people are human, too. I always try to tell this to moms of young families who are getting discouraged because they are comparing their family to another. Don't let what appears to be a "got-it-all-together" family get you down. Just keep chuggin' along, appreciate the gifts and talents your family has and try to follow the path God wants you to be on.
On the flip side of that, I have to remember that God is trying to tell me the same thing about my own family. It never fails: We are in a public place and I'm just about to string one of the kids up by their toes for their behavior, when right in the middle of my "why can't you behave better..." speech some nice old lady comes by and tells me what a beautiful family I have. Those are the times I have to pause, catch my breath and say "Thank you for reminding me".