Perfect Strangers

Perfect Strangers

When I was a child living abroad, my birthday almost always coincided with a visit to my mother’s family in the States, which meant that any friends I had the good fortune to have were almost always an ocean away on my birthday.  Every year, my mother whose parents bestowed upon her the blessing of being raised her entire pre-adult life in a charming seaside New England town—rather than the altogether different blessing bestowed upon me of vagabonding around the globe—would invite the children of her childhood friends to gather at our lake cottage for my birthday.  It was for her, I believe, an attempt to ensure that I felt celebrated on my birthday and continue the tradition of her upbringing, which involved summer birthday celebrations with friends at the lake...

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