On Sunday I drove home to the rainbow neighborhood and saw my parents, siblings, Ann-Kathrin, and Miss Cairo. When I walked in the door, Maxwell ran into the hall with a big smile (which he was trying to hide) and said—in his sarcastic voice—“What are you doing here?”
Usually I go along with his smart-ass act, but I couldn’t keep it in.
“I’m here to see YOU, Maxwell!” I attacked him with a hug. He didn’t refrain.
It was getting late and everyone was slowly making their way upstairs. The only ones up were Maxwell, Dad, and I. The three of us had gotten into a discussion about the lopsided distribution of wealth (I was studying about the Great Depression) which always sets Dad and I off into a huge ramble. Maxwell was a part of every conversation, putting his own opinions in, asking questions and trying to decipher for himself what he thought.
We stayed up late talking to one another. At the end of the night both Max and I were on the floor chocking on spit, we were laughing so hard. We went from politics, to making fun of each other, to touching each other’s veins on our wrists (long story), to dancing around the kitchen.
Then Dad said, “Max told me why he likes each one of his siblings.”
I looked at Max and waited for him to roll his eyes and say “Dad!” but he didn’t. Instead, he waited for Dad to finish.
“He said that he likes you because you have…”
“No, no” Max corrected him, “I said I like you because you talk to me.”
“Ah yes,” Dad said, “Because you talk to him.”
I smiled, “I do like talking to you, Max.”
I asked him why he liked the other siblings.
Harrison, because he does stuff with him.
Mira, because, well he doesn’t know why he likes Mira—she’s just his bud.
When I drove home, I wondered what the four of us would be like when we were older—all married and with kids. I wondered if we’d play a big roll in our children’s lives, if we’d talk to each other during the week, or if we’d live less than a half hour away from each other. I wondered if their spouses would like me or if I’d be the sister-in-law no one ever wanted to have over for dinner. I wondered what we’d say about Mom and Dad and their life.
Max, Dad, Me. When does that combination ever happen?