I was asked again tonight if I have kids.
I'm not sure that I have a great answer to that yet.
I decided to manage expectations by answering in this way:
"Oh, [tennis opponent], this is an awkward question for me. And I don't have a good answer for it. So I'll just tell you... I have a son. Who died in April. He was 9."
[insert uncomfortable silence]
And she said she was sorry and that she was sorry that she asked the question. I told her I was sorry too and no need to apologize for asking. It is a common question.
I just don't quite know how to answer it so that I don't make the other person feel bad and so that I don't cry, awkwardly, in front of a stranger in between sets of a tennis match. The tears tend to blur my vision when I am serving.
I need to practice a better response. I'm just not certain, yet, what a better response would be.