A NEW FRIEND WAS TIPTOEING into a confidence about her divorce when my toddler climbed onto a giant ottoman and fell off. A few minutes later, after some screaming and soothing, I turned my attention back to her. “Sorry,” I said. “You were saying?”
But she was by then trying to distract her own child from an electrical cord. She wagged her head slightly, as if to reboot. “No idea,” she laughed. And just like that, we were back to the polite, somewhat guarded conversation of two people who don’t know each other very well.