Today the Punklin is Moombaz and Hannah is Shmoopy and there is nothing you can do to change my mind. Shmoopy Shmoopy Shmoopy I say and and Hannah's face crinkles into delight. Ms. Shmoopy, I say, You look like one of us. In fact you look like me when I was your age, I think we will keep you. She continues to smile because she is seven months old and she Understands. You know what I mean

Moombaz is a name my brother found for me to use on the punklin and she is fine with it. She is alert and quivering and peering out the window as we pull out of the driveway. I am the Lucky One because I get to sit with the kids in the back seat and I mean it when I say I am lucky. Today is not a smiling day for her but it does not mean she is upset only watchful. She has not been here since November and she must be storing up memories.

In the three minutes to the highway Ms. shmoopy faced Hannah is sleeping softly. She is good at that and I keep touching her face. Not to tickle her but because it is cool and smooth. Don't tickle her my sister says, and I look up, guilty. Wordless.

The punklin hands me her shoes Hold my shoes and her doll Hold my Dolly and her other doll Hold my Other Dolly one at a time, carefully. She is not smiling and neither am I, I solemnly put these things in my lap so she can focus on the trees going by. These are important things and we know it. She will sleep soon, too, and I know this because she is my niece and Two Years Old. Still it is okay for her to miss the city driving by because she has not come for New York but for family.

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