I got the question, for the first time.
I was sitting on the soccer field sidelines, watching my middling play. My older daughter (who needs an internet nickname) was on another field at her own game.
The mother of a teammate I didn't know asked me, "How many children do you have?"
Somewhere an answer must exist, like a good banana split. One scoop of he-will-always-be-one-of-your-children, one of can-you-come-up-with-a-more-jarring-comment-than-my-son-is-dead, and throw in a gawd-I-don't-feel-like-crying-in-front-of-these-strangers. Top with my innate ineptitude with small talk, the fact the family on the other side of me knew Henry, and sprinkle on the distance this other woman was away causing me to all but yell.
I hate banana splits.
I said something like "I have two now, my son died three months ago."
She was very gracious, talked about the girls, and then asked how old he would have been. I was then able to talk a little about how he had died without making her ask. It ended up being a nice conversation, and I didn't cry. This was entirely due to her social grace and genuineness.
Maybe I'll get better at it. It is sure to happen again.