“Do we have to move, Mom?”

Amelia gestured for her eldest to set the table. “Not for a long time, dear. Unless you want to move and don’t mind if I cash in all of our college funds to do it.”

He laughed. “Just checking. Mickey’s parents are getting a divorce so they’re leaving before school starts.”

“Given everything put into this place, I intend to hold on to it as long as I can.”

“Hey, Mom? Did you know the guy down the road never owned a house before? In fact, this is the first time he’s staying put.”

Amelia set the hot dishes down on the table. “How’d you learn that?”

“I overheard him and his sister talking. She told him it was about time he grounded himself.”

“Not everyone defines their homes in the same way. Who knows? Maybe you and your sister will go in opposite directions or-.”

“And leave you? Not like him. No.”

Amelia took a deep breath then let it out slowly. “What’s between me and your father is between me and your father. Don’t rush to be a grown-up so soon. Trust me, there’s plenty of time for that.”



“Do you sometimes wish you were home, back where you grew up, I mean?”

“No!” She shook her head. “I mean, no. Go get your sister. She’s probably still playing with the new doll house you made her.”