“Not a word of this to anyone,” he admonished with a finger to his lips. “It’s Mum’s birthday but, just like last year, we’re going to make it a private party, just you, me, and her.”
The eight-year-old raised an eyebrow and looked her older brother straight in the face. It was a look befitting one of more senior years and made him feel slightly uncomfortable though he strove to hide it from her.
“I’m not dumb, you know,” she pouted. “We both know why Dad won’t be here.”