Thursday, September 13, 2007

Conversational Snippets

It's one of those days when I have snippets of the day's dialogue going through my mind.

  • Early this morning, one woman discusses the folly of some homeschooling mothers feeling like they can, or should, "do it all". This was actually the theme of the local homeschool support group meeting tonight: How Do You Get It All Done. When I looked at that title I thought to myself, "Easy! I don't!" Unschooling is like cutting a heavy weight off. Really, rather than "doing it all" I think we have to focus on doing what God actually calls us to. That we can always do, because God doesn't call us to that which is unreasonable.

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  • "You have only two kids[?]" This phrase was re-echoed to me today, and it was still reverberating from the other day when someone else said it to me, slightly different context. It's weird being in a hyper-Catholic area sometimes. I truly don't feel the need to defend or explain (or cry, usually). I accept my life, gratefully, for what it is. I am a Mom to two miracles.

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  • At the dry cleaning shop today the clerk was admiring my cute kids. For some reason my son pointed out to her that he was adopted. The woman went on about how I must have had to pick him out, and I picked out a really cute one. It made me realize that she, representing an average American, doesn't have a clue how adoption works. My son tried his best to get her to understand his circumstances, that we weren't out to adopt any ol' baby and ended up with him (heck, that isn't something he should need to do anyway!) Do people believe that babies hang out in some kind of a huge adoption nursery and prospective parents come in and say "I want that one"? It made me wonder how often in the course of making a casual comment my words caused great awkwardness for their hearer...

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  • This afternoon a friend and I were chatting. She asked me, "And what's new with you?" Funny question, that. I think I'll make up business cards with my blog address on it so I give people an accurate answer to that question. Seems to me "what's new" usually involves things in my thought life, but I rarely if ever answer a query like that with the real answer. I intuit that people want to know about my doings. So, my answer was "is anything ever new in my life?" Honestly, nothing came to mind. Oh, I told her my son was starting swimming lessons. I don't usually relate to my "doings" life, unless it connects deeply with my internal life. I guess most people relate strongly to their doings. Maybe this is why I tend to have a hard time figuring out what to talk about with people. When was the last time you asked someone "thought any great thoughts lately?" Maybe I should try that some time!

5 comments:

Jessica said...

I completely identify with your last snippet. I have friends who call me up and want to know what's new, where have I been, what have I been doing. The answer is usually, "Um...nothing?" because anything new and interesting tends to be what I'm thinking about or reading. I'm a SAHM, how much are things really going to change?

Anonymous said...

"You have only two kids[?]"

UGH! That really bugs. I can't believe someone would say that.

*****

About the dry cleaning clerk... perhaps this was her way of saying how cute your son is. My guess is that she knows people don't go in and pick out a child like they would a couch, but I think she was trying to be sort of funny. Then again, maybe I'm giving her too much credit...

Marie said...

Both of the "having two children" comments were innocent enough in context. I'm a bit of an oddity among "older" moms (and frankly, among moms of any age) here, so it's somewhat natural for people who just meet me to think "where are you other kids?". One woman was asking me in the context of "how is life different for you" seeing that I have "just" two.

If people got on my case about *why* I have only two kids, I'm sure I would oblige them with an earful :)

Anonymous said...

Well, the thing that really gets me about the comment is this:

So many Catholic moms I know who have a lot of children complain about society looking down on them for having big families. I've heard many say that they can't go to the grocery store without someone rolling their eyes at them or making a rude comment to them for having so many kids.

So why should these same women (subconsciously) judge people for having an x number of kids? Don't they see that they're doing the same thing, only in reverse?

Marie said...

Yes, I can see what you are saying, and would agree if that were the context. I'm hedging lest the people who made the comments read about it here.... not that they would remember, I'm sure! One was a single woman with no children who was just meeting me and presumed I might have older children too. The other was comparing mess levels between our houses. That I had two kids, in that conversation, was a statement rather than a question (which is why I bracketed the question mark). But it just reminded me that I'm not completely the norm around here, and maybe people ask me curiosity questions just like in other places people might curiously inquire into the lives of a woman with 6, 8, or 10 kids.