Who is the more dramatic — my extroverted tween or my philosophical teen?

Stoked from a morning show-choir performance and an afternoon rehearsal, Carolyn is lumbering around the kitchen floor, belting “I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS!!!”

Peter, his nose in a book, expresses a stoic disapproval.

“Peter, you never ask for anything,” says my wife, raising her voice over Carolyn’s singing. “If you could have anything, regardless of the price, what would you ask for?”

“Other than the Death Star,” I tease.

My wife and I chuckle. Peter tilts his head. He’s not thinking, just waiting for us to finish. After a precisely timed pause, he speaks.


He puts his nose back in his book. As he makes a humble exit, I catch just a hint of a smile on his face.