“What sweet sisters!” Steve the Realtor says. Sam and Ruby are curled up in a rocking chair in a house we are looking at. Sam giggles. Ruby says gleefully, “We’re not sweet sisters, we’re sweet brother and sister!”
Steve blinks. “Right!” he says cheerfully, in the tone that adults use to humor children who say things like “I saw Santa outside kissing the tooth fairy!”
Steve has met Ruby, who I bring on my house-hunting expeditions, but this is the first time he’s met Sam. I’ve talked about Ruby’s big brother Sam, but I suppose Sam’s gender had not really sunk in for Steve.
It’s The Moment, the time when I decide whether or not to say, “Actually, Sam’s a boy.” I look at Sam, who is wearing a pink-striped dress and pink Crocs, his long blond hair in a ponytail. I wonder if we will stick with Steve or find another realtor (if the former, it makes sense to tell him; if the latter, it doesn’t). I weigh how much Sam likes it when people think he’s a girl (a lot) against how much he doesn’t like it when I tell people that he’s a boy (a little). I wonder if it’s possible to teach Ruby not to say anything when people comment on her “sister.”
I think too long; The Moment passes. It will be back soon enough.