Uncle Gerry brought tiny tomatoes to the birthday barbecue. He’s been very well brought up, my mother would say. He never comes to a meal without an offering. I didn’t need anything in particular this time, so he surprised us. When he drew them out of his tote, like Santa plucking toys from his bag, he didn’t give them to me, to put in a salad or set out as crudites. He presented them to the kids, drawing them close with one arm in to a conspiratorial huddle, and asking them if they believe in The Little People.
While they were happily chomping, Uncle Gerry put that arm around me and said, “I knew I couldn’t come in to this house without a story.”