Thursday, November 17, 2011

How many children do you have?

How old are your kids?  

How do I answer such an innocuous question?

Often, I can't . Or sometimes I just start crying. Which is really difficult for people in the grocery store, who think they're being nice (which they are: they have no idea what a can of worms they're opening.)

Sometimes I answer, "I have 2 living children." Which is just begging for a question I don't really (or really don't) want to answer. Sometimes I ignore it, and answer something else. Sometimes I pretend I never buried 2 kids, and answer "Two", which leaves me feeling like Judas.

6 months after Alysia died, I found an old friend online. When he asked me about kids, I couldn't answer. A year has gone by. Now what do I say when I try again to reconnect?

Four. I fucking well have four kids. Just because you can't see two of them, doesn't mean they're not there.

But I still don't know how to answer.


  1. had this conversation with my friend JB. never really came up with anything that fits, but now he says "I have 3, but had to say goodbye to my oldest last winter..."

    still begs the question he doesn't want to answer, but he absolutely cannot answer "2"...

  2. I tried it out this weekend at the big school fair(e), and it is distinctly the best thing I have found so far. Would you let your friend JB know how grateful Joy and I are?