Day 161: pitching in


7:30 am. I look around the room and groan.

“What is it, Mom?” asks the elder.

I sigh. “It’s just that I have so much I need to read today. But this place ….” I gesture helplessly at the carnage of half done homework, dirty socks, granola bar wrappers, Pokémon cards, stuffed animals, library books, power cords, random pebbles, and Japanese food erasers strewn on every available surface. “It looks like a bomb hit it.”

The elder comes up to me and gently puts his hands on my arms. “We can all help,” he said. “We’ll all do it together when we get back from school—it probably would only take fifteen minutes if we all do it.”

I gaze at him in awe. “Oh my God, yes. Yes. Max, that’s a wonderful idea and it’s so so lovely that you suggested it! Honestly, I feel so much better already!”

“It should be a daily thing!” he adds.

“Yes!” I say giddily. “It’ll be so easy if we all pitch in together!”

We hug each other tightly.

Suddenly I notice the younger scowling at us. “What?” I say.

“I think,” she says, “I think there should be a sign-up-sheet.”



Day 160: siblings

This morning I find a gummy bear on the living room rug.

“I believe this is yours,” I inform the younger.

She takes it from me. Then she runs out of the room yelling “Sucker!” at the top of her lungs.

“Max! SUCKER! This is MY gummy! This is MY gummy! SUCKER!”

There is a pause during which I suspect the elder is inspecting said gummy.

Then I hear him say to her disdainfully, “you know this gummy has hair on it, don’t you?”

“Yes, but it’s MY hair!” she crows in triumph.