That Awkward Question

12189360_10153674268887278_8059134069674235858_oYou’d be surprised how often a woman is asked how many children she is.  It seems like a very valid and harmless question.  Most women enjoy talking about their kids.

I still enjoy talking about my children, of course.  I love them.  They are my life.  But…  when a new acquaintance or a stranger asks me that question, it is now a bit awkward.

I can’t leave Nolan out of the equation.  I’m a mother of 5.  Period.

Actually, that question is fairly straight-forward.   It’s the follow up question that gets tricky.

“Oh, how old are they?”

That’s when I tend to pause.  Again, I cannot leave Nolan out of my answer.

I typically start with my youngest and work my way up, ending with Nolan.

When I reach Nolan, I tend to say something like, “My oldest passed away 3 years ago at the age of 13.  He’d be 16 now.”

Of course, this is always met with some sort of shock or sympathetic response.  Often you an tell they don’t know what to say.  Today, at my gym, I talked a little more with a gal who usually has her mat next to mine.  We were discussing the fact that I homeschool and of course, the ages of my children came up.   She said, “It’s tragic.” Yes, it is.

It’s hell, heartbreak, anguish, unfair, crappy, horrible, terrible.



One Comment Add yours

  1. As awful as it sounds, I am so glad to hear someone else say this. We lost our 19-year-old son on 10/11/12. I have tried to explain how awful that question is to others, but they don’t seem to understand. My mother told me, “Just say you have three children.” I know that I have three children and I have no problem saying so. It’s the follow-up questions and the resulting awkward silence that is so difficult.


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