Mia’s teenage son, Gordey, came home from work looking super baked and Mia thought to herself: He looks so happy! He loves his job! He’s high on life!

And just like that, Mia turned into her mother.

Gordey was the most exceptional of teenagers, not because of his intelligence or his looks—although he was very smart and Mia thought he was quite good-looking—but because of his kind and gentle nature. He was now seventeen and had almost never given Mia a moment’s worry. He was the unicorn of teenagers: rare, magical, long-faced but handsome, perhaps gifted with the ability to bless people with miracles.

Mia was in the kitchen, opening her mail and feeding their elderly cocker spaniel, Warhol, when Gordey got home from his summer job at the supermarket.

Gordey poured himself a glass of milk and said, “This old lady came in and ordered two individual shrimps—” he worked in the butcher department and claimed that old ladies were the worst customers, always ordering itty-bitty cuts of meat “—and she says, ‘One for me and one for my daughter.’ When I told her that would be forty-two cents, she got this look like she was thinking next time she wouldn’t include the daughter.”

Mia gazed at Gordey, her handsome son with his sleepy smile and bright eyes and flushed face, and that’s when she had that humiliating thought about Gordey being high on life.

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