The man who sliced me open and made me smile

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”

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A good way to spend a minute

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”

The selfless-parent myth

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”

‘Responds to son’

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’”