To the woman in Tesco's who just asked me if The Boy was my 'one and only';
Yes. Yes, he is.
I wanted to silence you with a retort about miscarriages, or infertility. But neither of those is true and it would have been a wicked thing to say. But then so is querying a woman's fertility, or her decision about the number of children she has.
"It's actually none of your business!" I felt like screaming.
Let's face it and if I'm honest, I wanted to slap you.
But I didn't.
I was polite, I smiled with a clearly forced and fake smile and said, "Yes."
Let's put aside the fact that you're also delving into marital affairs with my husband when you query if I only have one child. We'll disregard the judgement and pity in your tone. Let's ignore the fact that you have no idea why I only have one. Let's take no notice of the fact that I could have had a medical problem after labour. Or indeed have had another child and something dreadful had happened. We'll gloss over the fact that there are couples out there who struggle for years before being able to conceive with one precious child who means everything in the world to them.
We'll turn a blind eye to all of that.
It might be a conscious decision on my part to only have one child. I might have decided that there are enough children in the world, and not to add to the burden on resources. I might have split up with my husband. I might be about to adopt another child. I might be unable to go through childbirth again or to conceive. All of these things are potential situations, they are also deeply personal.
I wouldn't walk up to a near stranger, let alone my son's old teacher, and ask her how many times a month she is having 'intimate relations' with her partner. I wouldn't pity her with a comment about having an 'only' child.
And it's none of your damned business.