Today I went to the grocery store, and it made my day. There, by the cold bottled foods, the orange juice and the milk and also the yogurt, a mother was picking cheese. Her two daughters, both children by anyone's reckoning, were with her. The younger was maybe three, the elder maybe six. The smaller girl pinched her face into a frown, bared her teeth, and began stomping zealously on her sister's flip-flop-shod feet.

The older sister took the younger by the shoulders gently, pulled her close, and kissed her forehead.