(sitting down to dinner, Molly lazing on the sofa having ate earlier)
Pai: Before I sit can anyone see anything missing? I don’t want to get back up again.
Hank: Azeite (Olive Oil).
Pai: Can we split one?
Me: For sure.
Pai: (dashing back into the kitchen)
Hank: I AM SO SUPER HUNGRY…
Me: Well, I made enough food I think.
Hank: To be honest I am not sure how I will feel about the pumpkin.
Me: As long as you try it I will allow you to pass it over to your papa or I and you can just eat the stuffing.
Hank: Oh, I will try it. I am now adventurous about food.
Pai: Today’s meal looks like a fall romance.
Me: (blushing because I know that he knows that I LOVE a fall romance)
Pai: (winking at me) Stuffed roasted pumpkin is my favorite. Very American.
Me: And I love chestnuts.
Pai: Making up for those lost chestnut years.
Me: (lamenting) OH! Do not remind me! So sad now that I know chestnuts are one of my favorite foods.
Hank: What are we talking about?
Me: When we lived on Ohio when I was your age we had a beautiful chestnut tree and every year we’d rake up all the glorious chestnuts and compost them away with the fallen leaves.
Me: My mom, your Grammy, survived two fires and she was worried the chestnuts would cause another one because of a terrible rumor about exploding chestnuts. Rumors ruin everything in America.
Pai: Which can happen if you don’t cut them. They pop like popcorn eventually.
Me: So do baked potatoes if they’re not pierced. Regardless, we didn’t know how to properly roast a chestnut so off they went. I also used to fall on the burrs while playing or step on them because I was religiously against shoes until the first snow fall. (donning a slight British twinge to my voice) “Yes, and her petticoat; I hope you saw her petticoat, six inches deep in mud, I am absolutely certain..”
Pai: Never mind your mother; she’s slipped away into literature again.
Hank: Chestnut spiky shells are the worst. I fell on one at Alice’s house. I was walking and all of a sudden I was falling and then all of a sudden life was horrible and you were pulling espinhos (thorns) out of my leg.
Me: True story, but the best foods protect themselves from predators (devouring a roasted chestnut carnivorously). Om nom nom nom nom nom. (grinning)
Pai: How was your day?
Hank: Good, I have a test tomorrow in Portuguese. Mostly we’re still reviewing from 4th grade so I am confident, but I am still studying more after dinner.
Me: A wise choice.
Hank: Also in gym we were forced to… I don’t know how to say it in English… um, you know when you, like, flip upside down against a wall and, like, hold yourself up by your hands? What’s that called?
Me: A headstand?
Hank: YES! Yes, we had to all do headstands in gym class until we were proficient.
Me: WOW, that’s cool. The only thing I had to learn to proficiency in my elementary gym class was dodge ball.
Hank and we’re also going to learn that one thing (miming a cartwheel)… You know?
Me: A cartwheel?
Me: Oh good! That is my one regret in life. I never learned how to do a cartwheel and the look like the most fun ever.
Pai: And did you? Can you do a headstand?
Hank: Of course.
Me: You should do it after dinner before you study!
Pai: Why exactly?
Me: A: Because I want to see and 2: Because headstands will make you smarter.
Pai: I’m a doctor of cognitive science and developmental psychology and I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Me: Headstands make all the blood rush to your brain, therefore making you smarter, obviously.
Pai: What pop-science, hippie-dippy rag-mag did you pull that out of?
Pai: Back up your sources, Hanford.
Me: Oh, I will, Stôr (slang for Sénior Doutor or Doctor-Professor the formal way to address a professor at university)!!! Right after I finish these delicious chestnuts! Yum!
Hank: Oh I’m doing a headstand anyway. I agree with mama! Blood to my brain HAS to make me smarter!
Me: (fist up in defiance) SCIENCE BE DAMNED!!!!!
Pai: OR it will make you pass out and vomit up your dinner, but you do you, Hank. Remind me to explain placebo effect at some point soon.
Me: (positively purple with laughter)