Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most
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Every day, one of Amy Julie Becker’s children says something that prompts her to think about life in a new way. “Mom, does Santa love me?” William asks, after his mother explains the meaning of Christmas…In a chat with her dad about the children who died in the Sandy Hook shootings, Penny asks, “Did they go to heaven?” …”You was a jerk, Mommy?” asks Marilee one morning in the car.
These conversations deepen Amy Julia’s relationships with her children, but they also refine her understanding of what she believes and what God is doing in her own life.
In Small Talk, Amy Julia draws from the wisdom and curiosity of those young voices to reflect on beauty and kindness, tragedy and disability, prayer and miracles. As she moves through the basic questions her kids posed when they were very young to the more intellectual questions of later childhood, she invites us to learn from our own day-to-day conversations with the children in our lives.
This eloquent parenting memoir is about the big questions little hearts ask, the thoughts their words provoke, and the laughter and soul-searching their honesty brings—to adult and child alike.
Heart of a Philanthropist's Take
I loved the chapter on prayer. Amy writes how she has a hard time getting Penny to even say a few sentences to her but when she is praying, she babbles on and on explaining about the entire day, asking for blessings for family, and telling Him what she had for dessert. When she asks her little girl later what she does when she prayers, Penny's simple answer is, "Talking to God, Mom." It's just a matter of fact. Penny realizes at her young age that God is her friend. It makes Amy wonder what she needs to change about her own prayer life. Yes, as parents we are suppose to teach our children how to grow up and be responsible. But, as parents, we can take a step back and learn from our kids. I love the simplicity of the author's writing. I felt like I was reading a letter from a friend.
About the Author
Amy Julia Becker writes about faith, family, and disability for Parents.com, the New York Times Motherlode blog, TheAtlantic.com, The Huffington Post parents page, Christianity Today, The Christian century, and numerous other publications. Her first book, A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny, was named one of the Top Ten Religion Books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. Amy Julia lives in western Connecticut with her husband and three children.