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”

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I saw myself in seat 37F. It wasn’t pretty.

I was just on a flight and sat next to a guy and his son. The boy looked about 5, close to the age of my older son. As we chatted, the dad reminded me of me: thoughtful but not doting, attentive but still keen on carving time out for himself. He’d been watching a movie on an iPad while his son played a game on his iPad. Continue reading “I saw myself in seat 37F. It wasn’t pretty.”

The elf’s spell

Months before he made his first appearance the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the air was already crackling with anticipation of the Elf on a Shelf — that cute, mischievous figure clad in red who sits in absolute stillness in our house (on a shelf or poking his head out of a toy bin, or in the corner of the kitchen counter) until reappearing the next morning in another spot, where his paralysis has again taken hold. Continue reading “The elf’s spell”

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”