Boy, Esq., whose new life as a Californian begins this week, is listening to me weigh the pros and cons of a job offer that I am thinking about considering.
It would mean long hours away from home, where I have managed, for most of his 18 years, to maintain a glamorous quintuple life as a freelance writer-editor-secret agent-figure skating PTA mom.
How I manage to juggle all of these roles is a secret I am saving for my memoirs - working title: You Can Do it All, Just Not Very Well - but the point is, I do it all so seamlessly that my firstborn doesn't even realize that I divide my parenting responsibilities between him and a completely different child who has been living here the entire time.
It's true. He had no idea.
I know this because when I mention the hours I would have to put in at the top of one of those tall buildings in the city where people go in early in the morning and do not come back out again for hours, he doesn't see what the problem could be.
"Why would you even need to be home?" he says. "I'll be at college."
"Yes," I say. "Yes, you will."
Then I show him the pictures.
Photo: (Above) Boy, Esq., who until recently, believed he was an only child, releases the classroom hamster into the dollhouse while his sister watches quietly from the background, where she will go unnoticed for the next five or six years.