I just found out about the recent death of the guy who sliced open my gut to save my life when I was a kid: Alex Haller, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins.
Considering the stakes of the occasion when we met, I thought a brief look back would be appropriate.
When I was 4, I started getting terrible stomach aches. Every day, they hurt worse.
Then my stomach started ballooning, until I was like a male pre-schooler who was 9 months pregnant. Continue reading “The man who sliced me open and made me smile”
I first read ‘Your Blinded Hand’ by Tennessee Williams in The New Yorker six years ago. It’s proven to be unforgettable. It was published 18 days after the arrival of my first-born son, and I read it while still floating, amazed by my joy, which is partly why it has left such an impression, I guess. But regardless, it’s a powerful depiction of our desperate belief that, in the face of disaster and despair, we will not be alone. It both warms and haunts. I thought it should have a place on this blog. Continue reading “A good way to spend a minute”
Two weeks ago, Quinn and Sawyer, who have birthdays 18 days apart, got a butterfly kit as a gift from their aunt: two cups with five caterpillars each, with tan muck at the bottom that they eat. Continue reading “The Brief Life of Butterfly Number 2”
Given that my wife and I wake up most days at 6 am, throw our 5-year-old and 2-year-old’s lunches together, feed them breakfast, get them dressed, get them out the door to pre-class violin practice then kindergarten and pre-school, work, pick them up, feed them pre-dinner snacks, cook dinner, feed them dinner, feed them post-dinner snacks, referee their fights, praise them for their good deeds, corral them for baths, put them to bed, then repeat this, nearly every day, it might seem odd to ask:
Is having kids primarily a selfish act? Continue reading “The selfless-parent myth”
Today was ‘Daddy Day,’ a term reserved for the days when Mom works, the kids aren’t in school, and I’m in charge. Continue reading “Do dads do enough?”
The last in my ‘Mom and me’ series, which ran in The Coastal Star in 2011. This is slightly tweaked from the original. Reading the first will orient you if you haven’t seen it….
The call came at 2:20 a.m. My mom was about to die.
I’d been preparing for this for the last two years. But I still felt as though I were falling through a trapdoor. Continue reading “‘Responds to son’”
Part 3 of ‘Mom and me,’ which ran in the The Coastal Star in 2010….
When I visited my mom at the nursing home the other day, I talked with the wife of another resident there.
In the dining room, with a crime drama on the TV in the background, she said something that I’ve heard a lot: ‘You look just like her.’
‘People tell me that, and it’s interesting,’ I said. ‘I’m adopted.’ Continue reading “When nurture counts way more than nature”
‘Can I please have some apple juice?’
A simple question from Quinn, 5. A perfectly fine sentence. Pronunciation: great. Syntax: acceptable. Manners, even: check. Not perfect grammar (can/may), but still, it was a pretty good sentence.
And that’s the point. It was pretty good. As in, not awkward, adorable or funny. Sadly, Quinn is past Kiddian, the era of kidspeak starting shortly after meaningless babble ends and before halfway-crisp speech begins.
Sawyer, 2, is now in it. Continue reading “The fleeting joys of Kiddianisms”