When your daughter comes down the stairs wearing a satin bustier under a Las Vegas jacket, you will want to say no but you won’t, because you will remember being 16 too.
When you think refinishing the kitchen table will take a week, you will still be eating outside two months later, balancing dinner plates and glasses of milk on the porch swing.
When your youngest daughter loses her front tooth on the slide in the backyard, she will come rushing in with a radiant bloody smile and you will see her new again.
When you are thirteenth in line at the public library to read a novel loved by a friend, you will open the latch to the door of the Little Free Library and there it will be.
When your ten-year-old gets braces, he will let you hold his hand on the walk home and everyone will get butter pecan ice cream after dinner for the pain.
When your daughter’s college announces high levels of coronavirus in the wastewater, they will close the dining room and library, and she will eat alone in her room.
When Air Force fighter planes roar through the sky above you, your throat will blur and you will miss the child who believed there was something so powerful and so good.
When an ornery melancholy sits down inside you, you will try to convince it to leave, you will lean your back against it and try to push it out the door.
A friend will tell you to let the feeling rest. This will go against what you’ve always known, and you will be afraid it will stay like a squatter in an abandoned government palace in Madrid.
You will stop trying to find out who the squatter is or why he is here, and this is when you will see that it was you who invited him in, and this is what you have been waiting for.