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I have Googled, Binged, hit up Reddit and looked everywhere else I know to look and I simply can't find what I'm looking for :(

The story (I don't think it was a novella) is about a family reunion taking place (might be an engagement party, I can't remember). There's a kid there (preteen, maybe?) that nobody seems to know -- he sort of looks like both sides of the families that are represented at this gathering. Long story short, he's the son of a couple that is at the reunion. He came back in time to tape record them saying that when they had kids of their own, they'd never make their kid do homework, chores, etc. Really cute! I don't remember when I read it ... I want to say late 90's/early 2000's.

I'd be SO grateful for any help!

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    unless the two stories were published together in the same book/magazine/collection, this needs to be broken up into separate questions. – phantom42 Dec 8 '15 at 17:26
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    Agreed. That is why we are suggesting closing the question. Editing the question to only indicate one story (posting the other one as a separate question) or to indicate that they are from the same collection is sufficient to allow reversal of the closing. – FuzzyBoots Dec 8 '15 at 17:32
  • You don't say when you read the stories, but the first sounds like Deletion by Steven Bratman. According to the ISFDB it has only appeared in the Jan-Feb 2004 issue of Analog. You might want to check the other titles to see if any of them look like the other story you remember. – John Rennie Dec 9 '15 at 10:07
  • Done :) Thank you so much, John, that's definitely the author I was thinking of!! – JP_910 Dec 11 '15 at 16:10
  • @JohnRennie: Since it's confirmed, would you like to post it as an answer? – FuzzyBoots Dec 11 '15 at 16:51
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You don't say when you read the stories, but the first sounds like Deletion by Steven Bratman. From the book Plagues, Apocalypses and Bug-Eyed Monsters I found the following excerpt on Google books:

Steven Bratman's "Deletion" turns on the social and psychological effects of the global deletion of a gene responsible for feeling of kinship. Decades before this story begins, a dedicated pacifist decides that simply advocating peace isn't enough, choosing instead to release a retrovirus that removes the biological "cause" for war. Nations dissolve as the genetic basis for patriotism and fear of the other was removed from the human genome. But the ideas of familial love and marriage also disappear, replaced by a religious style worship of friendship, complete with a new set of strict rules and rituals. The story ends as the main characters await a worldwide vote on whether to correct the deletion.

According to the ISFDB it has only appeared in the Jan-Feb 2004 issue of Analog. You might want to check the other titles to see if any of them look like the other story you remember.

  • Ah, I see the question has been edited and the bit I answered above has been edited out! – John Rennie Dec 12 '15 at 6:35

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