Family was even a bigger word than I imagined, wide and without limitations, if you allowed it, defying easy definition. You had family that was supposed to be family and wasn’t, family that wasn’t family but was, halves becoming whole, wholes splitting into two; it was possible to lack whole, honest love and connection from family in lead roles, yet to be filled to abundance by the unexpected supporting players.

My mother hasn’t asked the questions that a normal person would ask, and I’m grateful for it. It’s like the world has become so crazy that it makes sense to her now.
I turn on the engine and drive us out. ‘Thanks, Mom. For coming to rescue me.’ My voice comes out reedy and a little wobbly. I clear my throat. ‘Not every mom would do that in a world like this.

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
In two straight lines they broke their bread
And brushed their teeth and went to bed.
They left the house at half past nine
In two straight lines in rain or shine-
The smallest one was Madeline.

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