Except for the background beat softly thumping from the speakers in the living room, we are quiet. The three of us. Rooted in the kitchen. Each to his own thought, his own business. His own mess.
The song in the background reaches the chorus and the singer belts, “lift up your voice…lift up your voice…” My son is suddenly serious. He stops bungee-ing his full water cup to the counter and says directly to his sister, “that’s for you.”
Before her forehead even contorts a response, he is filling the space with more words. “You’re supposed to lift up your voice, Raven. Just like dad says. Remember? Because he can never hear you in the back of the van.”
It was my mother-in-law explaining basic genetics in her kitchen to my daughter. “You have my genes. And Papa’s genes. And daddy’s genes. And mommy’s genes. And grandma and grandpa’s genes.”
Only my son couldn’t stand it a second longer without tattling. “And you have Nannie’s socks, too. I saw them.”