We lost our dad six months before our baby was born, and our mom died because of complications during childbirth. We live with our grandparents, but they don’t really pay much attention to us.

I grow all of them. My older two kids don’t ask for much, but my youngest is starting to. Because of the quarantine, our family lives with us, and he doesn’t understand why. He joined a playgroup a few months before it shut down, and now he wants to know where his parents are.

He has been sleeping in my bed the last few nights because he is worried about his health (or trying to choke on my words). He was very nice, but I didn’t have anything to do with him.

He is sleeping on my chest right now. He said, “I love you, daddy,” when I shook him. I’m not sure if he knew what he was saying because he was half asleep, but she made me cry. This child is so small and has lost so much.

My brother heard what I was saying and asked if he could call me dad. I don’t know, to be honest. I don’t want to be our father’s replacement, and I’m afraid I’ll never get over how great he was. I want to try to give him a chance at a somewhat normal life, but I don’t want to mess him up as he grows up.