I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via FlyBy Promotions. All opinions and experiences are my own.
Quick Summary of Small Talk by Amy Julia Becker. Every day, one of Amy Julia 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.
Readers will love and appreciate Becker's honesty throughout Small Talk. We all have parenting fails. Some of us are overly critical and seem to feel that too many of our daily parenting moments teeter on the edge of disaster. As readers journey through Becker's memories of some notable interactions with her children; they will appreciate her honesty. She made mistakes. She made missteps. Her kids made mistakes. Her kids often made her realize the error(s) of her actions--and her kids gave her the incentives to refocus, reevaluate--and step up to the plate to apologize when situations warranted it.
Small Talk helps readers refocus on the little things...which matter. I am as guilty as anyone of focusing on the big picture...or, at least, what I see as the big picture on a given day. Becker portrays her parenting with honesty as an evolving work in progress--not a perfected piece of art. It was refreshing to realize that I'm not the only one who needs to step back from a situation every now and then--and refocus. While much of the book focuses on Becker's faith--there is really as much of a focus on the simplistic views of children. It focuses a lot on the little things in our daily lives. The little things that we'll probably remember most in the future!
Would I recommend Small Talk by Amy Julia Becker? Sometimes the answers to life's mysteries are not really all that complicated--but, they certainly are thought provoking. Becker recounts a number of ways in which her children helped her to ponder life's big questions (and the small ones too). There is no chronological order. No real pattern to Becker's memories--just valuable realizations in small moments. Becker speaks simply, honestly and thoughtfully about a variety of subjects and situations. Kids offer a lot of wisdom--and this book does a wonderful job reminding us to stop and engage in that ever important small talk with our little wise ones!
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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.