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“I have, in fact, never before used toothbrushes in the house.”

This is what my sister said the other night as we were discussing whether the second of the cello playing nine-year-olds (the first being my niece) would spend the night at her house after the great Thanksgiving extravaganza.

And of course, we all knew that she meant that she could spare N a toothbrush, not that she has never used toothbrushes in her own home, which is what we thought at first blush, and rapidly discarded.

And then there was the discussion that my mother and I had about President Obama’s decision to place 30-40,000 more troops in Afghanistan.


she said.

Attacks? I said

yes, she said.

Against whom? I said, wondering if my mother knew more about the relative danger of living in certain places in the states than I’d given her credit for.

Against everyone, she said.

Everyone? How can they… oh. She said “There will be a tax.” Not “there will be attacks.”

And now I tell you that every year, despite all evidence to the contrary, that I understand my family better. And I hope I let them understand me better. We’re a bunch of quirky, funny people, and although living far away has its drawbacks, it also has these few-times-a-year meetups that bring hilarity and tears, children running hither and yon and at least one fever pitch conversation, one injury, one giant spill, cello practice, children trying to grow up too fast, (sometimes connected, sometimes not, sometimes all in one day, repeatedly) and a whole lot of coffee.

And at the moment, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Bienvenida a casa, bearshapedsphere. You’re home.