Several months ago, I was getting my nails done when the tech, noticing my bump, innocently asks: “Is this your first?”

“No,” I“So, it’s not your first?” say and smile back.

“So, it’s not your first?” she asks again.

This time I relent, knowing what’s coming, and say, “It’s my eighth!”

“No,” she says. “I was asking if it’s your first child, not your first month.”

“I know exactly what you were asking,” I answer as she simply stares at me in disbelief.

And then, what always comes next for some reason . . . “But you look so young,” she marvels.

“That’s because I am young,” I insist, not quite sure of how old I should look for having birthed seven children!

When I was expecting my sixth child, my husband joined me as I went to get some routine blood testing. The phlebotomist quickly got over her shock that it was my sixth pregnancy, but oh the horror as she asked “all with him?” pointing at the bearded man in the doorway. As if, had it been with six different men, it would have made it all the more sound reasoning for having so many children.

A pregnant belly is always fodder for anyone and everyone’s input. Funny thing is, the comments are mostly predictable and almost always along the same lines. Among my pet peeves are remarks to my husband that this is somehow all because of him. Really? In 2018?

I actually find that a bit (read: very) offensive, as if I have no say in the matter—as if, somehow, this was a decision all his own. Which brings me to the fact that there was no decision, and the notion that we must need to be enlightened about this thing called birth control because clearly, we know nothing about it.

Here’s the thing: We have these children because we actually want them! Because weWe have these children because we actually want them! have been raised with the understanding that there is no better legacy we can leave behind than a generation of Jewish souls who will cast a light over this world that will be so bright the entire world will be permeated with love and kindness. Because we believe that there is no greater wealth we can amass than the nachas we get from our children—and the ones who come after. And that, “The crown of the elderly is the children of their children.”

It’s just a different frame of reference, another set of priorities. To us, bringing another member into our family is the greatest blessing we could ask for. Our children were counting the days until the new arrival would make its debut. And now that she has, the kisses are endless. I need to plead with them to let her sleep! The biggest gift our parents gave us is each other, and we are so fortunate to give this precious gift to our children. They will have each other always and forever. You just can never have too much love.

Upon boarding the plane with a 3-year-old, 2-year-old and a newborn, I heard a passenger say to another: “These are the people that have lots of children.”

It was many years ago, but I have never forgotten this comment. Not because I was hurt by it. Quite the contrary: It filled me then, and continues to fill me now, with so much pride.

Yes, we are the people that have lots of children. I’m proud of that. My hope is that our children feel the same.