Reunited after 3 years and familial expectations

I had the day off today, so I made plans to see a friend who was in town from Seattle for lunch. She and her husband are originally from New Jersey, but they moved out to Seattle for career opportunities in 2012, and they’ve stayed there since and have really fallen in love with the city. They recently bought a townhouse there, and it looks like they want to stay there for at least the next five years, much to their families’ dismay. When we caught up over FaceTime a few months ago, I realized that the last time I had actually seen here was in 2018, so over three years ago now, which was crazy to me. Every time we catch up again, it always feels really comfortable, as though no time has passed. I guess that’s usually a sign that you have a friend worth keeping, when there’s no real pressure to do certain things together and you just feel comfortable being around each other without much expectation.

I usually know when my mom likes one of my friends when she repeatedly asks about the person. With this friend, she will usually ask every few months if we’ve been in contact and how this person is, and whether this person has had kids yet. This friend has no plans to have kids; in fact, she and her husband decided long before marriage that they would remain child-free. I always tell my mom this, to which she always responds that people say that, but they change their mind. Or, they will think about their “old age” and realize they need to have kids.

There is no nice, polite way to tell my mom that people today are definitely NOT having kids because they expect their offspring to take care of them when they get old. If anything, they have kids for the “progression of life,” or because they want to leave a “legacy.” Or, hey, maybe they just want kids! I mean, my mom always had this stupid fantasy that Ed would take care of her and my dad when they got old since I decided to be selfish and move away, but now that Ed isn’t here anymore, she’s saving every last penny for her future convalescent home because she doesn’t think I will do anything for her when she needs help. Oh, familial expectations.

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