Olivia watched me balance

Standing on one foot. The other pressed gently against her chest, keeping her from the hot barbecue. One hand clenched a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc, the smell of grapefruit muting the smoke of charcoal that moved to sting my eyes. The other hand slid a cast iron pan full of mussels, steaming in a tomato and wine sauce Olga made while Olivia was napping. The sun reflected off golden olive oil, drizzled over a tray of fresh bread that balanced precariously on the edge of a side table.

We could have ripped open a pack of frozen hotdogs and popped open a can of cheap beer, but this is just how we do things. At the end of the day I’m exhausted, but it’s the good kind—the kind where I sigh and think: what a great day.

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