My brother and his wife are very open with their children and talk to them about all kinds of things my mother would never have brought up in conversation with me. And somewhere along the line I know they’ve answered questions from their children about me and my lack of offspring. One of my nephews (let’s call him “Frank,” because he is – always) even asked me flat out why I don’t have children. So I told him.
I’m actually glad for this openness; it’s allowed me to practice answering direct questions honestly in a situation where they’re asked in pure innocence. When someone asks out of nosiness, I already know I can say, “I tried, but I couldn’t.”
On my recent trip home I conned my nieces and nephews into playing Game of Life with me. As I loaded pink and blue pegs into my car, “Frank” said, “It’s funny that you have so many children in the game when you don’t have any in real life.”
And then the cool, calm, well-practiced me snapped, “Well, you don’t have a yacht in real life either!”
Yes, sometimes I have this whole thing under control, and sometimes all the embarrassment and insecurities come rushing back at me and I bite off some poor innocent bystander’s head.
Frank, if you’re reading this post when you’re not supposed to, I’m sorry I snapped at you. And I know you’ll be mad that I called you “Frank” in this story, so I’m sorry for that too. And you’re right. It is funny that I always end up with a ton of kids in the game. It’s funny that I end up at the Millionaire’s Mansion sometimes too. If one of those doesn’t come true in real life, maybe the other one will. If it does, I promise to take you out on my yacht. Love, Auntie Lisa –x-