Do you want to have kids?

'Do you want to have kids?' Man, if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me that question.

If I may make a few observations...

1- I get asked that question all of the time.  Bryan is rarely asked that question.

2- So personal!

Now, about my responses.  I usually respond one of two ways:

1- 'No.' (no follow up, I just leave it at that and don't offer any additional information…)

2- I make a joke, and say something along the lines of, 'I already have hundreds of kids!'  Because of Simply Smiles, and because I don't offer any more conversation, that usually ends things.

Then people usually respond with something condescending like, 'oh, you're just not ready', or 'you'll change your mind.'

So, why am I getting cranky about this question today?  Because I'm thinking of the kids on the reservation.  Bryan, Zach, Sam, Josh, my brother and my friend, Jamie are all on the Cheyenne River Reservation, and I'm not.  And I miss the kids terribly.

And I know, I know - these kids aren't my kids.  But they are.  

Both in Mexico and in South Dakota, I have so many children that I know and love and care for.  It's a non-traditional life to say the least, and it's a different definition of family, and yet - I wouldn't have it any other way.

When Gaby graduates from Norwalk Community College on May 23, I will be cheering in the stands and taking as many pictures as she'll allow.  I couldn't be more proud of her than if she were my own.

When Juanita taught herself chess because she needed a new hobby during the long South Dakota winter, I choked up at her ambition.

When Nacho whips out his guitar at Casa Hogar and we play songs together - I tear up every time, and I can't wait to see what he's going to accomplish.

And when we lost our dear friend Tanner to suicide, it broke - shattered - my heart.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of him, cry for him and give thanks for him.

These kids are mine.

I didn't birth them, they have more family than just me, but they're my family just the same.

So that's my long answer.  And today - missing the kids on the reservation, I sang this song for them.

Enjoy your family today.  In whatever way you design 'family' to mean.

Love, Kristen