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“Why don’t you have any little kids”, he asks with his innocent face turned up to mine. 

“I just don’t”, I answer.  Hoping it is enough. 

“But, why?” 

“Because I have you and I have Lance and I have Wyatt.” 

My answer seems to satisfy him and he strides away, full of four-year-old purpose. 

Later, I fold a newborn-sized t-shirt, a bib that says “Daddy Rocks” and an impossibly tiny pair of footie socks.  I sit up all night, smelling the top of a fuzzy head and soothing an upset tummy.

My answer may have satisfied him, but somehow, it doesn’t satisfy me.

My nephews mean the world to me.  I may only see them on birthdays and holidays and special visits every few months, but I'm hoping that I make enough of a difference in their lives that they remember me between visits, love me when they're older and humor me when I am in my old age.

I don't and won't ever have children of my own for health reasons, both mental and physical.  My worst fear is becoming the kind of mother that my own mother was to her children.  My second worst fear is passing on these wonky genes of mine.

I'm old enough and single enough now that I never get asked The Question.  My grandfather used to worry about me, but he's not around to be bothered anymore.  My best friends make threats and offer their own children as caregivers for the years of my infirm.

So, no matter how wistful I feel on occasion or how often I wish for things that might have been, I must remain satisfied.

July 2010

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