It happened again.
A couple of weeks ago, while at the checkout line, the friendly Ralphs cashier told me I needed to have at least one more child.
She said this in front of my son.
This time around, the cashier is someone we chat with each time we see her. She is warm and friendly with my son. She comments on how tall he’s gotten and asks how he’s doing in school.
But this was crossing the line.
While she scanned my groceries and I bagged them, I tried my usual answer. “We’re blessed with Ryan.”
But she didn’t let it go. “You need to give him a brother or a sister. You never know what could happen to you or your husband. You don’t want to leave him alone.”
I felt a physical reaction, as if I had been punched in the stomach. I know this. It is one of my great fears.
As we loaded our groceries into the car, I spoke to my son about this conversation. “I really like it when we see Dora, but I really didn’t like what she said to us today,” I told Ryan.
I continued. “You know each family makes their own decisions about children. How many to have, or if they’ll have any at all. And each family’s decision is right for them. Our decision is right for us. Daddy and I feel so lucky that our family is the way it is.”
“I know,” Ryan said.
But like I began this post, this isn’t the first time a supermarket cashier has commented on our one-child family status. And even though I’ve dealt with this before, it doesn’t get any easier.