It’s the conversation no couple ever wants to have, but has to anyway: who gets the children should anything happen to us?
At thirty-five and thirty-three years of age respectively, Sarah and Christopher Wallace had every reason to believe they had many more years ahead of them. They were healthy, physically active, and both had a family history full of people who lived into their eighties. Chances are they would live to see their grandchildren born, maybe even attend one of their weddings, but still – you just never know. They could be killed in a car accident, a modern day black plague might break out, or England might finally get its revenge for all the tea America wasted centuries ago in Boston.
“What about my brother Mark?” Christopher asked his wife.
“No offence, but he thinks a can of warmed up beans and a stalk of celery smothered in spray can cheese makes a proper meal,” Sarah said. “How about my sister Juliette and her husband?”
“They’re…you know, the D-word,” Christopher replied.
“The D-word? What does that even stand for? Demented?”
“I meant, they’re Democrats, but some might argue they’re the same thing,” Christopher said.
Sarah rolled her eyes at her husband and then, in her mind, scrolled through the list of other possible candidates. Five minutes went by before she offered another possible candidate.
“What about David and Laura? They’ve been our best friends for years, plus our kids love their kids,” she suggested.
“I think that’s an excellent idea!” Christopher agreed.
Sarah then called their friends and invited them over for dinner on Friday night.
“There’s something Christopher and I need to talk to you about,” she said right after baiting them with the promise of steak.
“We’re so glad that you and David could come tonight,” Sarah said to Laura two days later.
“Our pleasure,” Laura said after the four of them sat down at the dinner table. “What did you and Christopher need to discuss?”
“Well, we know this is a lot to ask,” Christopher said continuing the conversation, “but Sarah and I are updating our wills and we were hoping that the two of you would agree to take Wyatt and Jackson should anything happen to us.”
David and Laura sat there unsure of what to say. The polite thing would have been to say, “We’d be honoured!” The honest thing, however, would be to say, “Oh good God, no. Your two kids are horrible brats. Hellions, really. We’re talking one step above throwing excrement at one another, and even then just barely. We’d rather be captured by a tribe of cannibals and eaten alive then raise your evil spawn.”
“Um, thank you for thinking so highly of us,” David said. “The thing is, Laura and I are splitting up.”
Laura turned and looked at her husband, surprised by what he had just said. This was the first she had heard of their impending divorce.
“I’m getting a sex change you see, and moving in with my secret lesbian lover, so we’re likely the last people you want taking in your children,” David then said.
“That’s true, he is getting a sex change,” Laura said, picking up her husband’s cue. “And I’m going on welfare, with no intentions of ever getting off the system.”
Sarah and Christopher couldn’t believe what they had just heard from their friends. Well, in a way they could. In their minds, David wore an unusual amount of pastel colored shirts for a man, and Laura never had struck either one of them as particularly ambitious, career wise. Maybe they were closet Democrats. After another awkward sixty minutes, and a dessert that tasted like an inner tube, David and Laura made their excuses and left.
“What are we going to say when Sarah and Christopher see us around town together and you haven’t had a sex change?” Laura asked her husband on the drive home.
“They won’t see us around town together because we’re moving far, far away from here. I don’t know where, but even if it means Nepal then that’s what we’ll do. Anything to avoid having to take Wyatt and Jackson.”
Laura and David didn’t move to Nepal. They only had to go as far as the next state over. Six months later, Sarah and Christopher still hadn’t found anyone to take their two boys. Here’s hoping nothing happens to them until their youngest is at least eighteen.