I was outside checking the grill and the phone rang in the house. The land line rarely generates real calls, it’s mostly IRS scams and such, so there’s usually not much pressure to run for it. My family was inside the house and it rang long enough that I figured nobody had picked it up, I figured they had looked at the caller ID and they were like, “nope.”

I walked back inside a few seconds later and without any prelude (since it was just a few moments earlier) I said, in my usual vernacular, “Were you like, ‘nope?'”

Sydney and Anette looked at me silently, blinking a few times, but looking at me for clues. They clearly didn’t know what I meant and I wasn’t sure how to explain what I meant; like if they heard me and understood the words but didn’t know what I meant by them, that was one explanation that was necessary, but if they heard me and had misunderstood what I meant, that was a different explanation that would be really confusing if the first thing had happened, and if they just hadn’t heard the phone ring at all, that was yet a third path. For starters.

It was really quiet as we all tried to think through what I meant by my nope question, especially me.

Finally, trying to be specific without being too specific, because I wasn’t sure which kind of explanation was necessary, I said, “The phone was ringing. You didn’t answer the phone.”

They said something like “it was just a recorded message from the school.” What I I heard was, “Nope.” Then everything made sense again.

Zen moments.