“Wait. Let me guess … science?”
While Tina settled more food onto her fork, thinking she knew Bette was mistaken, Angelica spoke up and surprised her.
“Yeah. How did you know?”
“Your interest in documentaries. And there’s no pressure there, right? Your math teacher challenges you, I hear.”
“Ugh,” Angelica smiled, playing with her food. “I really like math, but I don’t know how I feel about it, you know? It’s good … I might be like a mathematician one day. But I really like science. It’s really cool, and Ms. Bergman always uses these funny pictures and she has all these facts! … She knows everything!”
Bette chuckled, taking her own food into her mouth as Angelica went on about her love for science. After Bette admitted she’d loved science in school, too.
Tina was floored – finding out more about her little girl than she thought she would. Angelica was full of surprises, but Tina truly hadn’t expected that. And after dinner, when Angelica went to watch TV, Tina made that very clear.
“I can’t believe how you got her to open up like that,” Tina smiled, trying to hide the jealousy in her tone. She leaned onto the counter after placing the dishes there. “I just … am stunned, I guess.”
“You’re her mom. She’s trying to make you proud, that’s all. She’s not hiding anything, I’m sure.”
“… What if you’re wrong? … I think I just feel she’s so responsible … Maybe I don’t ask her enough about what she really thinks. Maybe-”
“Whoa, whoa,” Bette smiled, brushing her fingers over Tina’s bangs, still out of view from the child. “Whoa there. It’s okay. I think it’s great that she wants to talk to me. Right? Isn’t that a good thing that she opened up to us?”
Tina turned her head. “To you.”
“Oh,” Bette started, tilting Tina’s chin so she could look into her eyes. “I’m sure you don’t share everything with her.”
Tina looked down, “I can’t, no.”
“Well, maybe she feels the same way.”
“Where did you come from?” Tina chuckled. “Are you some sort of secret child expert or something? How do you know all of this?”
“I don’t know. Maybe I just remember what it was like as a kid.”
“Oh no. You’re not allowed to have a good memory, too. I get to be better than you at something.”
That had Bette laughing freely before finally calming herself.