Saturday, June 6, 2015

Answering a Simple Question

"Do you have any kids?"

It's a simple enough question.  People have asked me this question before and will most likely ask me again.  It's not impolite.  It's a fair question.  But sometimes I don't know how to answer it.  I usually answer based on who I'm speaking to.

Two nights ago when asked that question, my reply was, "Yes and no."  I was with the wife of the feature poet at the poetry group that my son's adoptive father is in charge of.  They had been staying with them.  They had spent a good amount of time with my son that day.   I explained the situation and that J was my biological son.  Like many who have struggled and wondered how raising a kid and doing everything was going to work, she understood and also understood the choice that I made.  We had a long conversation and completely understood each other.

But I haven't always answered this question so honestly.

Sometimes when in a supermarket or a big retail store, I'll smile at a little baby or I'll help a kid back to his/her mother or I'm in the toy aisle wondering what to get.  And at random times the question is asked, "Do you have any kids?"  Sometimes for time's sake or just for privacy's sake, I'll say, "No, not as of yet."

I make it a point not to lie to clergy, at least clergy who make it a point to be loving and create a safe environment for their congregation and visitors.  And given a nice person in a safe environment, I will tell my story.  But if I don't think I'm safe, I won't say it.  If I'm asked the question, "Do you have any kids?" I just reply, "No."

Doctor's forms are things I have gotten more familiar with lately.  And on reaching the question, "Have you given birth?" I have to answer yes.  But sometimes there's another question that says, "How many children live with you?"  At that point, I have to put down the number 0.

It's a sticky situation.  And for us, not the easiest of questions.  Back before I was 27, I would always answer, "No, no kids for me yet."  Now, my answer depends on who I'm with and what situation I'm in.  Sometimes I tell the truth.  And sometimes I lie.  But it's not really a lie.  Not exactly anyway.

How have you answered this question before?  I would like to hear about your experiences with this and your answers.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I used to answer honestly at doctors' offices...until I lost my second child to adoption. When the doctor at the hospital lied about us and to us, and used the excuse "well she gave her other child up for adoption" when he was questioned about taking my daughter, I decided that I would no longer tell ANY doctor the truth. Never mind that I am too old to have any more children, but now I either say "I have one grown son" or I say I had one child but she died. I kind of have fun making up stories for each doctor, as I no longer respect doctors.