Except for the one other lady.
We ended up across from each other on the drying table.
"So, do you have kids?" she asks me.
I pause. She didn't ask the question the way I've been dreading:
"How many kids do you have?"
She didn't ask that.
So I froze. What do I do?
This has always been a known landmine for parents like me.
"So, do you have kids?"
"Yes," I say, hesitantly, not sure what's coming next but bracing myself.
"What grades are they in?"
Can I answer this one?
Do I want to have a desperately difficult and very sad conversation here at the manicure place?
"I have a sixth grader and a first grader...and a preschooler," I answer, screaming inside my head about my forever-and-never-second-grader but calmly drying my nails on the outside.
I don't want to lie.
I don't want to pretend that I have only three kids.
Four, dammit. I have four kids.
But I'm okay, at this moment, on a technicality.
I'm living in the gray area here.
Because I just want to get through the drying...I just want to make it out of here without crying.
And then I use the best trick in my arsenal:
"How about you?" I ask.
And she talked.
She told me about her kids, and their story.
I responded to her.
We had a nice conversation.
I totally sidestepped it.
I didn't answer the question, I didn't break down, I didn't talk about it at all.
Sometimes avoidance is a bad thing.
And sometimes it works.
And that's okay for today.
|First day of first grade|