On Being Childless: Redefining Home, Redefining Legacy

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of Home on Redefining Home, Redefining Legacy on Not So Mommy..., an infertility & childless blog
WOBBLE WARNING:  In this post, I talk about littles and legacy, discussing a specific encounter that happened at our home.  Though I did not wobble, topics discussed have the potential to trigger a wobble.  Please, only read if you are feeling strong enough.

Last Saturday, Dane’s uncle-by-friendship called.  Heading home from vacation, he was just over an hour away and wanted to know if he could swing by to see us?  Absolutely!  You know…  Maybe that’s why Dane and I “collect” nieces and nephews.  Dane has an Uncle R by friendship.  I have an Aunt LZ by friendship.  We both grew up with examples of friends who are family.  But I digress…

So, Uncle R came for a visit.  And he brought a niece-by-friendship, a great-niece-by-friendship, and a great-nephew-by-friendship with him.  Dane and I had never met these relations, but we were happy to be introduced.

As we walked into our home, I could tell the mom of the littles was a bit apprehensive.  The kids—seven and four—who had Photo of Living Room on Redefining Home on Not So Mommy..., an infertility & childless blogbeen trapped in the car on a road trip began to explore and touch the knick-knacks on the coffee table and feel the pillows on the sofa.  And mom told them to stop touching stuff!

Dane let her know that it was okay, and they wouldn’t hurt anything.  And I reiterated that they really wouldn’t hurt anything.  I said that, though it may not look like it, we’ve had nieces and nephews running around this house.  The kids are okay…

You know, I used to get my feelings hurt when people said (or acted like) our home wasn’t “kid-friendly.”  But as I looked around our great room on Saturday, I realized something…

Dane and my house is not kid-friendly.


Dane and I are.

I mean, why would our home be “kid-friendly?”  We don’t have little kids!  BUT as I said before, Dane and I are kid-friendly.

So, if your little touches the coffee table knick-knacks or musses the throw pillows on the sofa, that’s okay.

If they want to explore the house and bounce around a bit, that’s okay, too.

Heck, if they spill something or, Heaven forbid, accidentally break something…  You really don’t have to worry!  It can be cleaned up.  (The only reason I’ll come running is because I don’t want the little to get hurt!)

No disasters happened on Saturday, though.  Honestly, the least well-behaved kiddo was Maddie!  She would not stop barking and kept jumping up on the kiddos because she wanted their stuffed animals.  They did look a lot like her toys…

We went out to the back patio and sat around our table, letting the kiddos eat a sandwich while we adults chatted.  After a Photo of Herbs on Redefining Legacy on Not So Mommy..., an infertility & childless blogbit, the littles started to get restless.  As I talked to Uncle R, I noticed that Dane had called the kids over to him.  He was showing them the herbs we have growing in a big pot on our patio.  I watched as he taught them to rub the herbs and then smell the delicious scents on their fingers.  He also talked to them about the bees buzzing around our butterfly bushes, explaining that they were working and would go back to the hive to make honey.  When we went around front, he encouraged the kiddos to check out the lavender I have growing in pots by our front steps.

As everyone was getting back into the car, I noticed that the little boy leaned over and smelled a flower before hopping in.  I smiled.  And I thought about what a phenomenal Daddy Dane would have been…

Before I got melancholy, however, I pondered the positive impact that Dane had made on those kids.  In one short hour, he left a bit of legacy with those littles.

Though I know that seven-year-old won’t remember Dane, I like to believe that he will remember smelling the herbs and learning about bees and the importance of stopping to smell the flowers.  And when he has a little of his own…

Oh, how I hope he can have littles if he wants them.

When he has a little and encourages her to smell the herbs and talks to her about bees and watches her lean over to smell the flowers…  Well, he won’t remember that a kind childless man took the time to teach him those little things.  But Dane’s legacy will live on because he took a few moments to show love to littles…  Littles that we met only once.  Littles that we smiled at and waved good-bye to and commented about how cute and well-behaved they were.

And then, we went back to tending the flowers in our garden and taking care of our spunky, boisterous, noisy fur baby, and enjoying our not so kid-friendly home…

How are you redefining legacy, fabulous one?  Tell us about it in the comments…
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Holly Parker August 2, 2021 - 3:14 pm

This is wonderful! I love your perspective!

Brandi Lytle August 3, 2021 - 11:46 am

Thank you! I’m so glad it resonated! 🙂


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