On Christmas, the gap between new and old family yawned wider. The first hours of hazy happiness, after waking early in the morning, were spent at Mom’s. She picked presents with the quotidian attentiveness that’s often mistaken for motherly intuition—how did she know all my socks had holes in them, that I really wanted that book? She never worried about her choices, but Dad worried, and worried about worrying. “Well, I was pretty sure you didn’t have this already….I heard someone at work talking about it….It’s pretty cool, right?” His gifts betrayed the habits of a busy man. He usually shopped for both sisters and me at the same one or two stores each year, often from the novelty item section of a local record shop. He removed price tags with inconsistency and left holes in the wrapping paper where the pieces he’d cut were too short.