2.17 The Honeymoon (Part Two)

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I complained, but the cabin we’re staying at is actually pretty nice. There’s a bunch of rooms, and the brats don’t have to share if they don’t want to. Mira’s been running off everywhere collecting frogs and bugs and other gross stuff, and Lance and I have been chilling on the back porch.

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We’re both tired of mosquitos and tall grass flipping everywhere. I think that counts as brotherly bonding.

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Mom is in her element. she’s grilled for every single meal, even breakfast. At least she’s keeping it vegetarian, for the most part. She made steaks the other night, but dad and I got potatoes.

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It’s easy to forget mom is like an amazing cook. In another life she’d be running her own restaurant or something. She made dad and me these baked potatoes that might as well have been their own meal, and then it’s fruit cobbler for dessert.

Mom put on a weenie roast, inviting our neighbors over. I was hopeful Summer would show up, but Zoe said Trillian got bitten up and was in a bad mood, meaning Summer was babysitting for the night.

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It was still pretty nice. Mom showed me how to make a fire, and Mira and Lance roasted marshmallows. The adults were passing around drinks from the cooler, and I tried to snag one, but mom would never let me.

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Dad told this crazy scary story. Mira was laughing at it, but Zoe seemed pretty scared by it.

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Night in Granite Falls is so loud. There’s a million bugs all screaming at the top of their lungs and buzzing off the river and flying into the fire, and I’m pretty sure I saw a bear, though dad said there weren’t bears in Granite Falls. Mira showed me a beetle she’d caught before roasting it over the fire, because she’s an absolute freak.

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The night would’ve stayed nice, except one stray ember bounced out of the firepit, and next thing you know…

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There was an inferno. Both mom and Zoe jumped to it with fire extinguishers. That mom instinct hitting I guess.

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I grabbed the kiddos and pulled them as far away as felt safe. I tried my hardest not to panic, but to be honest it scared me more the thought of Mira or Lance getting caught in it.

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Mom and Zoe were absolute beasts though. As soon as the fire started, they had it under control.

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Mom absolutely will not stop bragging about it either.

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She doused out the fire, declared the party over, and sent Mira and Lance to bed. But I think we were all a little antsy after the incident.

It was kind of cool hanging out with the adults. Dad grabbed some cards and dealt us all in, myself included. I’m so used to mom and dad treating me like a kid, but they talked to me like they did to Zoe.

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Dad taught me how to play poker, even though we only played for pennies. Mom’s surprisingly good at it. I think it has something to do with how many video games she plays. They talked about grown up stuff: how much the neighborhood was changing, how Zoe was settling in now that half her roommates had moved out, how nervous dad was about his new job, and how mom was pushing for more promotions now that she was getting older. Mom’s always had an honesty policy with us, but this was the first time I felt part of the conversation.

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And, honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever really talked to Zoe before. I didn’t even know if she was married, or which of her roommates Summer called dad, or anything about her life. Turns out she’s pretty funny too, and when I mentioned I was thinking about being a comedian, she gave me some pretty good tips. Is it possible all the adults in my life could be secretly cool? It’s too horrifying to contemplate.

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Mom walked Zoe out once she was finally too tired to keep going, and it was just me and dad. I don’t know what spurred it, exactly, but he told me he was proud of how I handled myself tonight, and I was looking more and more grown up. I pretended not to care, but it meant a lot from him. I went to sleep feeling pretty good.

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