I had an aunt Marion, the gentlest and strongest of souls, who was from Amsterdam, and who, during World War II, made a practice of getting papers to name Jewish children as her own, to keep them safe, to keep them alive. She was found out, and two SS troopers showed up at her door one day—and having no choice, she shot them both dead. She escaped.
Some years ago she was honored by Israel as a Yad Vashem, a righteous gentile, and a tree was planted in her honor on an avenue whose name escapes me. In any case, when my own four children were young, and we were visiting Tony and Marion’s farm in Vermont, I asked her blithley if there is life after children.
She looked me hard in the eye, and measured her words to make sure they got through, and said to me, “Life,” she said, “is children.”