Something happened yesterday that is becoming a common occurrence as I walk Lydia home from kindergarten, with Birdie in tow and Elliot in the stroller. An older lady stopped me and said, "Oh, all the children! Are they all yours?" (Me: "Yes, they are all mine.") Then she gushed with praise: "How wonderful, just wonderful! Congratulations, congratulations!" Then she usually showers me with blessings for health, happiness, good luck, etc. In the US, three kids wouldn't seem like anything too extraordinary, but here, where most parents only have one child, and the Russian population is declining alarmingly, it's something special! The other day one of Lydia's classmates and her mom caught up with us on the street. Her mom said, "Not too many people have 3 kids, so it was easy to recognize you from far away!" And also, maybe it's the fact that I'm out walking with all of them, instead of leaving one or more at home in the care of the Babushka. (In which case, I'd probably be at work to help support Babushka and the rest of the family.) In the US, if I did get comments about having lots of kids, I think the reaction would be more like, "Wow, how do you do it?" and not, "How wonderful!" I like these old ladies that stop me and shower me and my kids with blessings... it reminds me of what a precious blessing they really are!