We've been out and about a bit in the last two weeks. Mostly because I waited until the last day of December 2013 to take the children to the Temple and then had the opportunity to go again within the same week because it was a new month. Jmy asked a few days after one trip and I was happy to say YES for once! It was a blessing for all of us. We had a lovely Temple day on January 4, 2014.
Going to the Temple means getting extra dressed up. We didn't wear the same outfits, but we did wear nice and pretty clothes. Jmy was in a suit and tie. The girls did not wear the same dresses as in the post linked above, but they were very nicely dressed in dresses. I don't ALWAYS make sure Jmy is in a suit and the girls in dresses, for sure, but I am working to make sure they are very neatly dressed. It makes a difference. It really does!
Why? I'm glad you asked!
It's because of the way others perceive. When the children are dressed very nicely, people rarely say, "You've got your hands full," with the sorta negative tone or expression. It's difficult to describe if you haven't experienced it, but there is a BIG difference between those who say that same phrase with wonder and awe or congratulations and those who say it and sound like they mean, "Why on earth do you have THAT many children!!?" Truly, there is. When the children are dressed very nicely AS WELL AS behaved wonderfully, I hear the latter much more frequently than the former.
Just the other day, Saturday, Jan. 4th, we went to Chick-Fil-A as part of our Temple trip (we don't always or even often get to do that, so it was a bonus) and our cashier asked if we'd just gone to church. We hadn't, so I told her no. She asked why we were so dressed up. I often would use that opportunity to share that we go to the Temple, but this time I shared the other reason, "Because it's easier to convince people that I know what I'm doing when the children look good." I do know what I'm doing (most of the time), so it's MUCH easier to interact with people when we LOOK like it!
It was interesting that day... SO many people sorta stopped what they were doing to look at the children and smile and say something kind. I think it might have been a little bit like being a celebrity... very surreal! I mean, we go everywhere together and that rarely happens QUITE the way it did that day.
Pretty fun, all told! :)