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Yes, we have no children.

Maybe it's too long being locked up by COVID concerns, but lately I'm especially enjoying looking out the window. The view isn't worthy of a post card, but it's pleasant. I can see a slice of the weather, and a half-block stretch of street and sidewalks, and all the cars parked along that stretch of the street.

When I hear a car unlock (fwp fwp) I glance up, and when I hear car doors slam, I look out the window at my neighbors. Probably that's creepy. What do I care? It's entertainment, and it's free.

When a car or SUV parks, and kids are getting out, I've noticed a recurring message in the parents' body language. They're exhausted. Even parents who appear to be in their twenties will walk and wear their faces like they're middle-aged, or older, as they shepherd the kids into the house. I am sixty-something, but I walk with more energy than those parents out my window. Parenting must be a lot of work.

It's work I've never done. When I was a boy, I always assumed I'd grow up and get married and have kids. I was in my twenties before noticing that there might be no wife, no kids in my future. I shrugged, and probably said 'oh well' out loud.

In my thirties, after seeing some of my contemporaries raising their kids, it became more of a decision: I'd rather not. Call me selfish. I am selfish. I enjoyed the evenings and weekends that my friends no longer had, and didn't want to surrender.

When my beloved came along, and she mentioned on our first date that she didn't want children, that might've been the moment we fell in love. We never had kids, never regretted it, and lived happily ever after.

People often asked us, When are you going to have children? or, more accusingly, Why don't you have any children? My wife heard those questions, from family, from friends, and even from strangers, quite often. I heard those questions too, but for me, possessing a penis instead of a vagina, it was less common.

A woman without children is an affront to everything a woman is about, in some people's minds — stupid people, mostly. A man without children is sad, too — to the stupid people — but not nearly as catastrophic as a woman without children.

I'm old now, and alone, but people still ask, Do you have any children? When I answer no, they sometimes react as if I'd told them I have cancer. Occasionally, I still hear the follow-up question, But why didn't you have any children?

Anyone who'd ask such questions is an idiot, and I'll happily explain that to them. You might as well ask why a bakery doesn't sell sausages. We didn't have children because we didn't want children. End of story, and it's a great story.


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