Getting reacquainted
Returning to my family after six months is like an amnesiac being told that he has a family, a history, whom he must approach almost as if it were an introduction. I didn't appreciate how rich and fortunate a man I was until I met these people again and was charmed by them, learning little things about them that I thought I knew.

Boy is now 2 years old. When my wife handed him to me at the airport, he immediately squirmed to escape me. He didn't recognize me.
He ran back to his mother, who told him that I am his father. He ran back to me. He would not stop talking during the drive back to Castle Rock. His mother says he is one hundred percent boy. After spending some Dad-and-son time with him, I conclude he is also about 30 percent orc.

Middlechild is a Daddy's girl who wears glasses at age 4 due to astigmatism inherited from me. And who was picked up from the school office today because she bit someone who was fiddling with her Spongebob keyring. I need to borrow a polygraph from someone and be shown how to use it, because this girl can lie like a rug.

Firstchild, six years old, started first grade this year. I gave her a small wad of Omani currency to take to school for show-and-tell. I showed her how to look at the watermark, how Arabic reads right-to-left, how currency comes in units and subunits, and how to pronounce rial and baisa. She can make change in US currency, and reads at a better level than I did at her age. She benefits from the marriage of two powerful concepts in education: charter and Montessori.

The town has changed in these six months as well. Mama-san needed to inflate a vinyl wading pool, and I couldn't find my airchucks, so I had to make a tool run. At the point where I normally would turn left to head for the WalMart, hoping they had air-powered parts, the entrance to the new Home Depot came into view off starboard. To hell with anybody's viewshed, and screw your objections about big box stores. I now live within five minutes of a Home Depot and I didn't have to move, thank you.

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