The woman flipped open my chart. I was there to talk about my teeth. A routine check up. Count them. Scrape them. Polish them. Set me free.

“Are you still nursing?”


“How old is your baby?”

14 months.

“Do you have other children?”



There’s always a silence afterward.

This interaction has become routine. Where I live I could be a grandmother and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of ordinary. I feel her eyes scan my date of birth. Some mental calculations are made. I have a few more years than her notched on my belt. And my son is more than a decade younger than her oldest. I smile.

What I consider saying:

He took a long time to get here. I feel lucky to have him. Every night I thank God my one is in my life. And, yes, it’s none of your damn business.

Instead, I lean back in my chair, look at the tips of my shoes, open my mouth, and wait.

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