"A little shorter?" she asks, and then tells me about some of the challenges of last summer's drive to the Outer Banks with a three-year-old and a newborn.
I chime in with a story about the time we drove all night so that the kids would sleep through most of the trip to Florida, and then had to plunk them in front of the television for the first day because we couldn't stay awake.
"How many kids did you finally have?" she asks.
"Three," I respond gingerly.
"I'm expecting my third," she says. "Did you have boys or girls?"
"Two boys and a girl." This conversation is veering dangerously off track.
"In that order?"
"That's what I wanted! But I had a boy and then a girl, and I think this one's a boy. So the order got messed up."
"It doesn't matter at all."
"No, of course not. As long as they're healthy and they love you."
"Do your kids live around here?"
"Yes," I say. That's true, for the ones who are alive.
"Have they all graduated from college?"
"Yes." That's true, too.
She looks excited. "Do you have grandchildren?"
"No," I respond. This girl is curious. I need a new topic.
"Do you have any plans for the week-end?" she asks.
Thank God I do.