I still suck at small talk and other things I probably shouldn’t write out loud!

So I am back on the kinder party circuit. You know the parties where parents stay and mingle while the kids party. Yep; that kind of party. As I watched my kiddos bowl yesterday I struggled with small talk. I did better mind you; I actually sought a couple of people out and chatted, but each conversation lasted two minutes at most because after “Hi, how are you?” I have nothing left in the tank. Instead I have to hold my tongue. My mouth and heart want to discuss Aleppo, the epidemic of parents who have forgotten to teach their children respect for authority, and how do we find a way to quell a nation of entitled youth.

See, I suck at small talk.

So my kids had a blast at the party and that is why I was there anyway. Sometimes, I just feel bad that they are learning social skills from an awkward introvert.

We leave that party and head to a Christmas gathering with our friends. We have all been friends since college, husbands and wives, but the other three couples had children six years behind us; live in the same city; and their kids attend the same prestigious private school. I on the other hand, have a child taller than me with a deep, rich voice and my youngest kids are older than most of their oldest kids.

They can socialize about what is going on at the school and have common interests and I still don’t fit in among people I should. While they talk about picky eaters and where they buy their kids clothes – I can’t even relate. I hear myself say, “I buy clothes at Children’s Place and Target because the kids grow too fast and are too hard on their clothes for me to spend a lot of money on them.” And the looks on the faces when I say that are like I am some kind of whackadoodle and maybe I am, but it makes me feel old. I remember caring about that stuff when my oldest was four and my youngest was almost two. I remember buying GAP clothes and worrying about them not eating their dinner. Now with four kids aged six and over I know they have to eat some of their dinner or they don’t get anything else that night; that they will live and most of the time don’t even remember that the struggle over dinner ever happened. I have learned that we care way more about brand when that is of so little importance. What really matters are that our children are clothed, fed and loved.

See I let my kids dress themselves. This is how we roll to school.
And now I can’t really complain about private education anymore either. I used to think when people paid for private school they were paying for status. On top of that, I truly believed public education was just as good as private. In some places I still believe that is true. But alas, after my daughter was choked by a boy at school to the point where she couldn’t breathe; enough was enough. What was so sad to me was the teacher was so desensitized to the actions of this young boy she just asked my daughter to document the incident and nothing else came of it. Her teacher was so used to that boy’s behavior she didn’t even think it worth mentioning to me. This was the last straw in a sting of incidents spanning a year and a half. We knew she needed a safer place to learn.

We toured a private school and decided to send her there. She starts after the break and I feel like a weight has been lifted. She is finally going to be in a classroom where the students respect the teacher and are excited to learn. That I have to pay an arm and a leg for that still makes my stomach churn, but she needs a safe place to thrive.

This girl deserves her best chance. All kids do.
Hmmm…what else is running around in my head these days that you don’t want to hear about…well you may not get a Christmas card from us this year. Yep; I have been late in the past, but I am not even close to getting started this year and Christmas is Sunday. You might get a Happy New Year card instead. It isn’t that I am feeling Bah Humbug toward Christmas; even though this post probably sounds that way; it is more that I am feeling like I just wanted to slow things down this year and savor Christmas. To really hunker down and feel the Spirit of the Season and it got away from me again. I am not finished with the shopping or the wrapping and it is a week away. None of the Spirit of the Season stuff happened. And I guess I am struggling with traditions a bit and what I would like Christmas to look like and what actually happens.

Maybe it is just that my oldest son only has six more years in this house with us before he goes off to college and while that seems like a good while the first twelve of his life have happened in a blink and even though I have tried to savor it; it is flying by faster than I can catch it.

This is as close as we get to a family picture these days

Yep nose picking shenanigans
I know I am writing about first world problems here when much bigger world problems take precedent, but when these nonsense, first world problem words started to flow through my brain I just had to write them down. I just had to think about something else for a brief second. I think that is really why I feel like Oscar the Grouch. When innocent women, men, and children are being killed and no one is stopping it you just feel helpless and when you feel helpless and sad sometimes I think it manifests itself into anger and I am just angry that we live in a world where yet another holocaust can happen and the people with the ability to stop it can’t or won’t. So I thought maybe my first world, nonsense spewing would relieve some of that distress and Oscar-ness. Maybe that is the real reason I can’t whip up the Christmas card; I can’t send out a smiling happy picture of my children when in their faces I see the safety, love and security that all children should feel in the world and yet so many don’t have access to it. It breaks my heart into so many pieces I can’t complete the task.

And that my dear readers is a whole lot of junk I probably should not write out loud, but did any way because that is what I do. I do things any way.

Love your people tight and if you can love other people’s people tight, too. And teach your little people to love other people’s people. I know that is a whole lot of people, but that is what there is…a whole lot of people and all of them need love.

Until next time,



7 thoughts on “I still suck at small talk and other things I probably shouldn’t write out loud!

  1. Love you Michelle. The school system in CA is very broken. So are many of the people. One of our biggest societal problems is people are not held acccountable. A boy choking girls until they can’t breath is assault. Doing it multiple times is serial assault. People who assault people need to be prosecuted. At any age. When this takes place at school and the teachers and admin are aware, and they know it has happened, more than once, they need to be held accountable. The teacher is an accessory to the crime. Some people just don’t know how to do the right thing. They have to be reminded by punishment through processes that have been established to deal with these types of wrongs. Although not politically correct, calling people out and holding them accountable is the only way to bring decency.

    When America helped France when Germany invaded and then France wouldn’t allow th US to use its land for our planes when we were trying to defend others, this is wrong. If we help, if we do the right thing, others need to be accountable. When I was young, if I got out of line in public, loud, noisy, or saying words I shouldn’t, an adult would stop me and set me straight. I was held accountable. I behaved because I knew if I didn’t, someone would set me straight. Later I learned I behaved because I should have. It is the right thing to do. Because I forget and even a stranger had to remind me not to do stupid things, it wasn’t wrong …. for that to happen. It made our world a better place.

    I am mad too. It is ok to hold people accountable. You are not a bad person for doing so. It is a shame you have to pay a penalty because others won’t do the right thing. You are doing the right things. Your children have clothes. They always look great. It doesn’t matter where the clothes come from. Your children eat, they have a warm place to sleep, and they are loved. They are great little people, even the tall one. Raising children in a world where many things are broken is hard. It always has been and probably always will be. Hopefully we can get back to a world where people are held accountable, where people do love more, care more and accept more. You sharing helps.

    I understand why small talk may be hard. You are a deep thinker. You believe in really listening & meaningful conversations. Filling time and air with polite chatter is hard. I understand this. I think you do it better than you think you do. You love people and it shows. Love and caring are the answer. That will never change. Sorry I rambeled but you inspired me ….. thank you for saying the things you say out loud. You help many …….

  2. You inspired me too. None of this is easy – and the things you mentioned are not right. It’s hard to plug along and turn a blind eye – and it’s wrong to. Strangely (and that’s a NICE word for it) the consequences come to those of us who want to correct a child as we were corrected when we were young. We learned, and then, as your Dad so eloquently put it, we did the right thing because it was…right. In my humble opinion, all we can do is praise positive behavior and hope the lesson comes through that way. Your kids look great! They are happy and fed and loved and YOU DESERVE a HUGE brownie point!! It’s hard for Mom’s – always has been and always will be. Christmas expectations are over rated, and cards, shopping, baking, wrapping, concerts…..are overwhelming!!! Savor every moment with your children and family and listen for the peace of this season. I wish you a Merry Christmas!!!!! With so much love and respect, B P.S.- I think your family photos are FANTASTIC!! FUN and REAL!!!! 🙂

    1. I adore you! Thank you for your support. This summer I tried to correct a child for cutting in line and his mother lost her mind. I was a “crazy woman” in her words. You are correct that it has always been difficult and I agree it always will be. Sending you lots of love and well wishes.

  3. The angry crazy people are LOUD because they have found success in that behavior. It is time for us to stand our ground, not be bullied by loud crazy people, continue to do the right thing and clearly point out when others are definitely wrong. This was my year to regain my voice. We must lead by example. Maybe it will be in style one day to be kind and treat others with respect. When all the cool kids are doing it . . . Maybe it will be “cool” again!

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