Thursday, June 09, 2005

Do you have children?

How to answer this standard "get to know you" question among casual acquaintances when the two choices are to make the innocent questioner extremely uncomfortable or to deny Will? I guess I'm fortunate to have had four and a half months to prepare for that question. It didn't make it easier, but I think maybe I was able to find a balance by simply answering "Not living." It's direct and honest and doesn't really invite further conversation on the topic. But I felt like I was outside myself hearing the words come out of my mouth and not really believing that I was the one speaking.

Tonight was another case of "I wouldn't be doing this if Will had lived." John is at a conference for business editors and my office is hosting the annual meeting of news directors and writers from all the Big Ten schools. We could not be in both places at once if Will were here needing our care. Maybe that's why it hit me so hard when one of our conference guests mentioned that two of his staff who otherwise would have attended had decided to stay home because they are "new mothers." I'm a new mother too, but once again, passing invisibly among the crowd.


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