This is going to be a little self-indulgent boohoo post. I don't post these often, because I don't need to these days. But even though we have grieved and accepted our No Kidding lives, it doesn't mean we don't miss what we might have had from time to time.
I've probably noted before, but there are a couple of children in my family that always make me think. On my side, I have a great-nephew. His mother (my niece, she was my flower girl at my wedding) and I were pregnant (briefly in my case) at the same time. On my husband's side, a niece was born just a few months before my first ectopic. As I was still bleeding and having HCG measurements taken I had to watch my BIL doting on his daughter. This last week, BIL and his family have been in town, and I have had the pleasure of getting to know niece K, now 16, a little better. It's been a joy - especially to discover she is a bright and thoughtful young feminist, something I did not expect given the views of her parents! But it's also been bittersweet, obviously.
Last night was Guy Fawkes. My SILs and I were out on the town, as we are hardly ever together at the same time. So my husband went out to his childhood home, and got together for an evening with his three brothers (we can't remember the last time all four of them were together - decades, probably), and with the niece and nephews. DH decided to pick up some fireworks on the way, and apparently they all - young and old - had a great time letting them off last night. I'm glad DH had that bonding time with his brothers, niece and nephews. It sounded like fun. But I'm sad too that he doesn't get to do it every year, with his own children, or even every year or so with nieces and nephews.
Finally, on Saturday we had a family function to farewell MIL. Oldest BIL made the only speech, and he did it very well. But twice it was as if DH and I were invisible members of the family, simply because we didn't "grow up and have our own families." Yet we are the ones who have been here, reliably, and very supportively, for the last twenty or so years, for MIL and FIL. But it was as if we didn't exist. The Invisible No Kids. I felt it keenly. But on the bright side, DH said he didn't even notice. I wish I could be more like him!