I feel close to Dad on the drive home, our legs mud-dry and tired, the tackle box between us, the pillowcase full of fish and ice. She’ll never admit it, but Mom will be impressed, I’m sure. In a million years she’d never guess how we caught so many. I’ll never tell.
Mom’s outside, unfolding card tables and chairs, snapping tablecloths into clouds. She’s wearing her hot-pink corduroy shorts high above her thighs and a gray T-shirt — the day-off clothes she changes into after her Saturday-morning shift stuffing envelopes and folding paper at the dentist’s office. At least she can sit down for that. Most days she cleans for a company that maintains mansions on the water during the off-season. “Dusting is lonely,” she once told me. She has a day and a half off every week. A rubber band holds back her hair, blond and curling at the edges. She is focused, aligning the chairs just right, like the socks she rolls into fists in my drawers. She’s always pretty when she isn’t worrying.