I’m cleaning up the incredible mess that Ella made during dinner when Tom quietly motions me in to the living room, where Ella was earlier banished (because of said mess). The Tivo has switched to Shimmy, a belly-dancing program that I record. Ella, hands in the air, is sticking her hips out back and forth to the music. She sees us, smiles, and twirls around in circles.
She is forgiven for the mess.