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2003-03-01 | 9:27 a.m.

When I was about five months pregnant with the girls, I asked Frank if he would be their godfather. I meant I wanted him to continue to be a presence in my kids’ lives if I died, not that I wanted him to instruct them in their religious training or take them in under tragic circumstances, or whatever it is that other people’s godparents do. I had this idea (I still do) that if I die, or we die, every idea that made me who I am will die with me. The kids will go to live with Duff’s parents and never even encounter the ideas that shaped my existence. Much less know what I was like.

But the question unnerved him, and he basically said no. He didn’t come right out and say no, of course, but he sort of chuckled and demurred and changed the subject. My feelings were hurt, but I managed not to start crying (which was pretty good considering I was pregnant).

After that experience, I didn’t bother to ask anybody else.

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