This morning the girls and I drive to Art Cafe, order giant croissants and a steady flow of babychinos. I read about ancient India while they draw pictures, write in code, string beads. P takes an ice cube wrapped in a serviette and sits by the glass overlooking the parking lot, whispering to herself while kind servers watch nearby. We vote on our favourite croissants, the girls use their best manners to order, we talk about God and recess.

The girls sit at the porch table painting a small ceramic tea set. J stays longer than her sisters, smiles at the bold colours, two small gaps in her bottom teeth. M sings Let it Go with an operatic falsetto from the playroom while arranging Playmobil. P’s teacups are covered with bright polka dots.

Last night we ate Indian food with the Minors, drank wine in the dark evening, while the kids played hide and seek in the art room with the lights out and Ghosts in the Graveyard in the rain.

Phil and I watch Miranda in our pajamas and laugh till I can’t breathe.

The last few nights have been show nights in the living room. The girls push back the furniture, prop a flashlight into the couch cushions and turn out the lights. Phil and I sit on the piano bench while the flashlight turns on and three girls in dresses walk elegantly to the music stand. Go Tell it on the Mountain and Changes. There are solos and dances

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