The question pops up in my mind frequently these days, much as I try to be in the present moment and not worry so much about the future.
We had our company picnic a few weeks ago and it was Baby Central. A new born, a few one year-olds, some toddlers. Baby Central.
And I visit them all.
Everybody's kids and grandbabies.
I hold the newborn who decides at the moment to let out a great wail. So I hand him back to his grandma who laughs and says, "It's nice when they aren't yours and you can still do that."
"He wants his grandma," I reply, "he doesn't know me."
I play a game with a colleague's one year-old daughter. We roll a soccer ball back and forth along the ground to each other. She smiles and laughs each time it comes back to her and laughs even harder as she sends it back towards my waiting hands.
Someday I'll be playing this game with my daughter.
Another grandbaby at the picnic is sucking not very contentedly on a bottle. Her little face is red. She's been crying.
"Oh she's so tired!" exclaims the proud grandmama who's holding her and feeding her the bottle.
"She needs a nap in the worst way," says the baby's mom from across the picnic table, "but I think there's too much going on here for her to sleep. Now she's just getting cranky."
The mom doesn't seem overly concerned when grandma hands her the baby. She gives the now loudly fussing baby a quick squeeze and a big kiss on the forehead, "You need to go to sleep Little Girl."
I wonder if I'll be so calm in the face of a cranky baby who needs a nap, but won't go to sleep.
I watch my ball playing friend scootch sideways along the concrete crab-style while her mom calls to her, "Hey there. Where ya going? Where ya going?"
The little girl pays her momma no mind whatsoever and scuttles along quickly to her destination - a pair pink sneakers left behind by one of the older children.
As I watch the moms and the grandmoms and their little ones I keep hearing the question over and over in my mind...