Birthday Girl

You can’t remember this woman’s name, but you know other things about her. Where she lives, more or less. That her husband was out of work most of last year. Your kids used to go to the same school. She makes something on the side, woodcuts or stained glass. They moved here from upstate. Although you don’t know her very well, you think she’s nice.

“We really needed to get out of the house,” she says, cooing at the newborn slung over your shoulder.

You nod. “So did we. A little exertion.” The indoor playground is a good choice when it’s rainy or the weather runs to extremes of hot or cold; it’s good any time you can’t line up a playdate. But it’s the weekend, and you forgot there would be so many birthday parties.

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