For once, Aviva could barely keep her mind on her work. 

Her husband wanted to become… her secretary? Every rational and irrational part of her brain was screaming baaaad idea. Okay, so maybe he did have the extra time on his hands. Why couldn’t he invest it in actually working to grow his business? Rather than spending half his day being somebody’s secretary. Worse, her secretary! 

The idea was so absurd that she’d chosen to pretend it hadn’t been said. And that was the end of that… or, at least, it should have been. But, somehow, the look on his face kept elbowing itself inside her thoughts, at the most inconvenient times. 

Such as in the middle of therapy sessions. 

“Mrs. Heyman, it’s your turn!” 

She gave a little start as she looked down at the girl sitting next to her at the small table. “Sorry, Rivky, I lost track. Where’s the dice?” She rolled, and moved her piece around the board. 

“Hmm, it says I have to close my mouth tight for three seconds. Let’s do that together.” 

Lip closure… sure getting a lot of practice in that nowadays. 

“You did great!” Aviva smiled at the end of the session, as she held out the prize box for Rivky to choose from. She turned to Rivky’s mother. “Have her practice sitting with her mouth closed a few times a day. Try it while she’s chewing, as well. It’ll be hard, but the more she works those muscles, the better. It will also help curb the drooling. Next time we’ll start on the speech sounds.” 

She tousled Rivky’s hair as she and her mother left the room, then sat back down at the table to write up her session notes. 

Zevi wanted to become— 

Her brooding was interrupted by her phone ringing. 

Aviva glanced at the number. No. Not Naama. Not now. 

But avoiding her sister was just plain childish. And childish was something that Aviva, as the certified baby of the family, had worked her whole life to overcome. “Hello, Naama. How are you?” 

“Super.” Her sister was never anything but super. “How are things going by you?” Naama asked. “How’s Zevi? The kids?” 

Zevi wants to spend his days playing Sudoku on our clinic’s computer. My daughter Chavi has officially gone on strike in protest of the one too many times I’ve asked her to help. And the rest of the kids are acting more and more like vilde chayehs every day. 

“Things are great,” she said brightly. “Baruch Hashem. Everyone’s doing wonderfully.” 

“Glad to hear. I’m calling to tell you about Nossi’s upsheren. We’re doing it next Sunday at two.” 

Nossi was Naama’s first boy, after six girls. Knowing her sister, Aviva could only imagine what the upsheren would look like.