Many times I'd walk into a room where my parents were talking about something. While I was trying to figure out what they were saying, my mother would notice me and whisper "Pictures" to my father and they would stop talking. They didn't do it every time, but every time they did it bothered me. What were they talking about that needed to be kept so private?

I started standing outside the doorways where I was sure mother couldn't notice me. They never said anything about me, though. They talked about bills, relatives coming to visit, about my sister in college who was too old for me to really know about. She was twelve when I was born and gone when I could remember.

One day I got bored listening to my parents talk about mortgages, so I walked inside very noticeably. Mother turned and saw me, whispered "Pictures" to my father, and they both turned and smiled. I told them not to bother, I knew what "Pictures" meant and I knew they were talking about something I didn't care about. Why should I?

Mother never said "Pictures" again, and they didn't stop talking about the bills when I was around. Not for some time.