I'm So Sorry My Large Family Offends You

by Jenay Sherman
Originally Published: 
Four siblings wearing the same clothes and sitting on the couch while smiling at the camera
Image via Shutterstock

When you have four boys under the age of six, you have to come up with creative ways for them to burn energy. We found the perfect opportunity and signed up for our first family 5K. Children of all ages were encouraged to walk and participants were supposed to dress like superheroes in the fight against cancer. My boys had a great time—they were dressed like (what else) ninja turtles. Everyone got a shiny red cape, the weather was beyond beautiful, and the boys loved being cheered on as the runners ahead of us looped back and passed us on their way to the finish line. It was a great day. Almost perfect.

But, alas, it seems every day we are reminded what a huge inconvenience my large family is to the general public. Let me explain. As we were nearing the finish line, we heard someone behind us yell, “Thanks for taking up the whole lane. I appreciate it!” We turned only out of curiosity, because we were nowhere near taking up the entire lane. I was walking to the farthest right of the lane, wearing the baby, and my husband was a few feet in front of me, pulling two boys in the wagon, and one boy rode his bike a few yards directly ahead of us. There was plenty of room to our left as we were really only “two-wide.”

When we turned, this guy was quite a bit back, and he repeated his statement, clearly directed at us. We thought he might be joking. My husband said, “You mean, like we’re in your way?” The guy ran past us on the left. “Yeah, thanks a lot,” he barked as he passed. I yelled after him, “This is a children’s walk for cancer!” but he kept running and finished a few yards ahead of us. (My husband approached him afterward, man-to-whatever he was, but he just ignored us and walked away, making us both irate.) We spent the whole ride home rehashing the incident.

This is a recurring theme for us. Like the time we got fussed at by a guy on his cell phone for taking too much time selecting canned crab with our huge cart full of kids. Or the time I got yelled at for taking too long strapping all four kids into their car seats by a guy waiting for my parking space. I now understand what a threat we are to the public at large. So I want to take this time to apologize.

I’m sorry I did not consider you, the total stranger, when planning my family.

I’m sorry your needs weren’t my top priority.

I am sorry that my car safety practices do not enhance your parking experience.

I am sorry that the multiple-child carts at Walmart are so large they are akin to riding a Zamboni through the isles, therefore infringing upon your aisle space.

And to that dedicated runner, I am truly sorry if my audacity and inconsideration to bring my children to a family 5K added precious seconds to your awesome 59 minute finish time. Shame on me!

I obviously must learn a lesson. If you would like to keep me and my tribe off of the streets and out of your neighborhood grocery store, please sign the petition at, or send a message to at

Thank you.

With your help, we can keep large, happy families of adorable children at home where they belong. Then we can direct our efforts on the elderly and disabled.

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