You have your hands full...
Walking around town with children numbering just over twice the national average, I am used to the comment, "You sure have your hands full!" I smile, sometimes chuckle, and hope my children never really connect the dots. It is akin to the "how-do-you-get-it-all-done" question, but with a more obviously derogatory connotation. In Gatlinburg yesterday, however, I received this age old attempt at sympathy with a different twist.
I would say you have your hands full, but you obviously don't. What a lovely family.
Imagine that with a thick southern drawl and it is even more welcoming, more affirming.

We do have a lovely family. Not perfect. Not always well-behaved in public. My son has been removed from child care situations before, after all. But lovely...I love them. I do not (have never) view them as tasks to be completed, obligations to be juggled or obstacles set between me and my goals. My hands are "full," but not in the way that question implies it. My heart is full. My life is full.

And in Gatlinburg, as we were preparing to leave McDonald's, someone seemed to notice. Even there, my children were not perfect. I had taken my two year old down off the table twice, and had to stop her from playing peek-a-boo with the older couple behind us. But as I got the Snuggli ready, my son tickled the baby and showered her with little kisses. My oldest daughter held our two year old's hand and played a little game with her while they waited.

And for once, I hoped they did take note of what a stranger said about our family situation.