“Did you see pictures of the newest baby?” Maga said.

“I saw one picture. He’s so cute!”

“I saw some on Aunt J’s phone, but I don’t have any pictures yet in my possession. I think they’ll get me some soon. How many grandchildren do I have?”

“12 grands and now 9 great-grands.”

“And I was an only child!”

“You’ve done good.”

“And there are still people who haven’t produced any.”

I couldn’t duck fast enough. Her barbed comment was a direct hit. “Uh, yeah. You’re talking to one!”

“I might still get more.”

(Sheesh, Maga. Laying it on thick. She has a great-grandbaby that’s barely one week old and already wants more…and I’ve also begun to think she doesn’t need me here to complete this conversation.)

“Have you talked to C lately?” I said. (Yes, yes, it was a desperate attempt to change the subject.)

“Not in some time, no. How many grandkids does she have?”

(And my attempt crashed and burned.)

“She’s got 5,” I said.

“I envy her with all those grandkids so close by. I have more but they’re all so far away.”

I could barely hear her from underneath the rubble of guilt that was piling on top of me. Fortunately, the TV distracted her.

“Oh, it’s [45]. He’s turned out to be different than people thought.”

“Actually, I think he’s exactly how people expected, which is terrifying.”

“I do not like him. Do you?”

“I feel the same as you. Ick.”

“I guess it’s in the bloodstream.”

I loved how she phrased that, but honestly, I’d rather be talking about the kids I haven’t yet produced. But never fear, Maga took control and steered the conversation back to her favorite topic. (Surprisingly, not the weather. Or my phone number.)

“I’ll have to think of some reason to have you all come visit me. Not a funeral though. That would be terrible. I’ll have to keep going. As long as we have our weekly chats, I can keep doing that.”

I feel the same, Maga. Must be in the bloodstream.

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