Later, while we drove, my father wedged a paper cup between the dash and the windshield and had me take shots with a crumpled cigarette package, narrating like a commentator on TV.
We were football fans, my father and I, but we would play any game that presented itself.
I felt my rear end sag, my father’s knee rise to prop me up.
My feet, then my head, bumped against the wall of the trailer, and then the door was open, cool air reached under my blanket.
When we finally left the highway, he said, “Home at last.” There at our exit were three big hotels and a restaurant called the Kountry Kitchen and another called Noah’s and a go-kart track.
My attention lingered on the go-kart track, which was closed.
When we arrive, she will hoist our son high against her chest and take him, murmuring his dreams, into the house.
I will carry our long-legged daughter from our car to her room, where I will lay her gently on the bed we have made for her.
This was November, sometime between my birthday-which we had celebrated in an empty house, amid packed boxes—and Thanksgiving.
Under my father’s influence, the past Christmas Eve, I had seen a reindeer’s red nose from my bedroom window; with the same power of persuasion, he had convinced me, at least, that our move from Maryland to North Carolina—a place so far off it might as well have been wholly imaginary—was a great adventure.