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  • Kristan Higgins

Enforcing family fun

Updated: May 3, 2022


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The “stop touching me” posture known to big sisters everywhere…


There was a mandatory family walk the other night in the Higgins household. It was a beautiful summer night, Dearest Son was heading off to camp for a month, and it was the last night for a while that the four of us would be together. What could be nicer than a walk, right?


The children skipped merrily down the driveway… well, okay, that’s not strictly true. They were herded out the door and prodded, and words like adoption, illegal and unfair might’ve been thrown around. There may have been a brief scuffle once or twice.


I attempted to walk with my arm around Dearest, and of course, he agreed instantly. Actually, I might have heard the words child protective services, but in his heart, I’m sure he loved it. Princess kept commenting on the beautiful night (or begging to go home, I’m not sure which).


Princess pointed out that my sweatpants were on inside out, and Dearest told me he thought it was “just your 80s sense of style.” I offered to take the pants off and turn them right-side-out, and their laughter quickly ended.


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The light was fading across the cornfields. We ran into two sets of neighbors: one, my childhood friend who rides his bike everywhere he goes; the other, the guy whose kids I babysat long ago, and whose grandchild I got to snuggle this year on the Fourth of July at the party he hosts for the entire neighborhood. We petted his dogs and talked about how nice the party was, then continued on.


The kids poked each other and used the extremely unique nicknames they have for each other, and McIrish and I proved we could still carry our younger son. (The Princess declined our offers to carry her, being far too dignified for such things.)


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When we got home, McIrish said to me, “This was a great idea.” And, though they hated to do it, the kids had to admit he was right. : )

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