T here were a lot of things Mimi wanted to tell Kaylie. Did you ever watch your childhood home be taken apart? Gutted and cleaned and, eh... given new life? Would you even care? It’s all plaster and wood anyway.

A team of destroyers — what else could she call them? — were ripping out the mustard and yellow tiles; Mimi remembered sitting on the floor, tracing the pattern of blues and yellows.

Mommy had wisely stayed away. Daddy was offering drinks, pretending this grisly scene didn’t bother him. Bea dropped by to make sure the workers weren’t walking off with her best pans.

“You look like you’re at a funeral.” Kaylie clapped Mimi’s back. “Lighten up, Mims. It’s not so bad.”

She was trying to be sweet, but she was annoying.

“Imagine a fresh place. Modern colors, strong lighting, sleek everything. You’ll love it.”

“I’m sure.”

The construction workers yelled in guttural — was it Italian? — over the scraping of the grout saw, the rip and crack of tiles being wrenched out. The smell of rotten tiles and wet plaster made Mimi feel ill.

“Iced tea, anyone?” Daddy, super-jovial, asked from his spot in the center of the mess.

A clatter at the door and Binyamin walked in, dripping wet. “I forgot my umbrella but I was too lazy to go back,” he said. “Anyway, how’s it going? I came to see how you guys are holding up.” He waved to Daddy.

“As great as we can under the circumstances,” Mimi said.

“I know what you’re thinking, Binyamin,” Kaylie murmured. “But we’re not wasting perfectly good vacation days. The restaurant may be closed, but we still have work.” She waved toward the workers.

Binyamin snorted. “Nonsense. You both come here every day just so you can look important.”

Bea trailed out from the kitchen. “You children should go home and grab a nap,” she said crossly. “What are you here for?”

Mimi wondered how she could explain, even to herself.

Binyamin said, “Well, I’m here to tell everyone to relax.”

Bea planted two hands on her sturdy middle. “Binyamin, it’s high time you stop fixing everyone’s problems. I remember once, you were eight maybe, your parents had this little spat, and you were very worried.” She laughed. “I tried shooing you into the corner with some fritlach — they were hot and crispy and had plenty of confectioner’s sugar — but what do you know, the child wants to make peace!” She shook her head.

Binyamin blushed.

“What you need, my dear, is a vacation,” Bea declared, dusting her hands as if she had just finished her dough.

Binyamin pounced. “Exactly what I’ve been saying. I even spoke to Daddy about going somewhere for Shabbos. We really have to make something happen.”

Daddy came over. “What’s the story, kids? Exciting, eh?”

“Daddy, I think we all need to get away,” Binyamin began. Daddy turned to listen. “It’s really important we get away, on a family trip. And not a business thing.” (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 588)