Yesterday was my last day working in my old office in Palmer. To commemorate the occasion I invited my family to stop by for lunch at my big grey desk in the walk in closet. I figured it was only fair to let the girls stomp around and bang on the paper thin walls to annoy the neighbors one last time, just like we have been doing monthly since just after Lydia was born. We sat around my desk, now far more crowded than it used to be, and shared sandwiches and macaroni salad, and talked about “old times”.

As we came to the end of our lunch together Andrea went with Lydia to the lady’s room, and I was left with Clara as we finished off our mugs of soda and prevented Gideon from playing with the space heater.

I raised my glass to my daughter. “Here’s to good memories and new beginnings.”

She stared across the table at me. “What are you doing?” she asked, my glass still poised in awkward praise over our small table.

“I’m giving a toast, Clara. You are supposed to pick up your glass and touch it to mine, and then we will both take a drink to honor something.”

“Oh.” She lifted her mug of soda and sheepishly clinked it to my mug of soda. We drank.

“Now you do one.”

“Okay,” She thought for a moment. “Okay. I have one.”

I lifted my glass and waited.

“To Lydia,” she said finally. “That she will come back from the bathroom safely.” She leaned forward and clinked her glass to mine, then tilted it back for a hearty swig.

“Clara, I think maybe you misunderstood-” but before I could finish my thought, the office door swung open and Lydia came dancing through it with her mother close behind.

“Yay!” Clara cheered rushing to hug her sister. “My toast worked! My toast worked!”.

Andrea looked at me in surprise. “Her what what?”

“She said her toast worked.” I explained. “Just… I don’t know.” I shrugged and emptied my glass.