Monday, January 8, 2024

When people ask about your older kids, be ready to quickly recite their age, job status, and one interesting factoid about them

This is us with our kids (and our son-in-law Michael thrown in for good measure) at Disney World a couple of years ago. I've always liked this picture.

Nowadays when I talk with family members, co-workers, or my children's old teachers, I am expected to give a full report on how each of the kids is doing.

"How is everyone?" will come the question. Usually the person asking wants more than just "They're all good!" and something significantly less than a 20-minute dissertation on the health and wellbeing of our offspring.

I have answered this question so often that I can usually give them the information they want in less than 60 seconds. It goes something like this:

"Well, Elissa is 29, lives in Willoughby, and is the Content Marketing Manager for Citizens Climate Lobby, a climate change advocacy nonprofit. She was recently voted Funniest Staff Member there.

"Chloe is 27 and lives in Akron. She is a few months from finishing her PhD in Neuroscience and eventually wants to go to medical school. I know, crazy, right?

"Jared is 25 and living in Tampa. He works in communications for the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. He and I co-own a fantasy hockey team, though he's really the one who knows what he's doing.

"Melanie is 23, living in Wickliffe, and has her degree in marketing. She has somehow learned to stop looking at her phone all the time and be present in the moment, for which I admire her. I want her to teach me.

"Jack is 17 and the only one still living at home. He is working at Sweet Berry Market in Wickliffe and considering a career as an electrician. I like a quiet house, but I also like having him there with us. He can stay pretty much as long as he likes."

And so on...

Even when people are genuinely interested, that's really about as much as they need and want to know.

And about as much as I can remember off the top of my head.

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