Eventually we made it to the gym, and then home for dinner, and then Saturday night watching my middle kid play soccer, our opportunity to spend time together as an extended family.
"I bet I'll be the only black person in there," said my niece as we walked into the arena.
"I have the same problem," I said. "Lots of places I'm the only cool person."
"Really, die," said my middle son.
"I like astronomy," she said.
"New Mexico? California? Dubuque?"
"Hawaii's got a good telescope," the Lovely Bride added.
"Uncle Snag's oldest is looking at a school in Boston," said my sister-in-law.
My niece looked at her. "I'm supposed to go out east so I can do cousin stuff with him?"
"Don't be rude," said her mother.
"I'm being realistic," she said.
"She is," said my oldest.
"Fine," said my sister-in-law. "Do your laundry with strangers."
The next morning my mother stopped by.
"How lovely to see you again," she told my niece.
"It's nice to see you too," my niece replied.
"She's crazy," I whispered to my niece. "Humor her. She goes back to the home soon."
"Be quiet," said my mother.
"Careful, Grandma's prone to violence," I continued. "She shot me when I was a kid."
"How has your visit been?" my mother asked my niece.
"Interesting," said my niece.
"Yes," said my mother. "It's always interesting at your uncle's house."