Category Archives: family

Openings and Closings

The timing could not have been more precise. My phone rang; a friend calling to deliver worrisome, though not disastrous, medical news about a mutual friend. “The warranties on our middle-aged bodies,” I remember thinking, “have well and truly run out. We are all starting to show our manufacturing defects, and there is no RMA available. It’s fix or toss, now.” And even as we talked through what this meant in the immediate term, an unfamiliar number with a 608 prefix rang me.

My cell phone number dates back to Boston, and the other number I maintain to New York City, so my personal daily cloud of no-see-em spam phone calls come to me from 617 and 917: any call from a 608 number I assume to be real. On top of that, I answer pretty much any call when I’m not physically around my kids. This was a no-brainer: I apologized to my friend and took the call.

I didn’t recognize the voice.

“This is your wife.” (It was not my wife.) “I’m with your wife.” (That made more sense.) “Piper’s been in an accident here on the bike path. I’m going to put your wife on the phone.” (A brief flapping and fumbling as the phone changed hands.) “It’s me,” Kate said, in a voice all focus and fear behind a tourniquet of concentration. “I need to you to pick up Syd and meet us at the Children’s Hospital. A biker hit Piper on the head. We’re calling 911 now. It’s bad.”

“Okay,” I said. “I’m on it.” I held the phone for a moment before asking, “Just how bad is it? What’s your read?” Nothing from Kate as an eternal few seconds fell echoing down a well, and then: “Just come.” Continue reading Openings and Closings

Mortality and Morning People

  • Piper started a crying binge after lights out, late last week, weepily repeating only, “I don’t want to die: not ever, ever ever. I never want to die.” Hugs and some nickel-philosophy from Kate and me, Kate’s being of the “you’re not going to die for a long, long time” variety and mine being of the “hey, when I feel that way, I think about all the things I love in my life.” P fell asleep 10 minutes later. We haven’t found out what the trigger was. (Having finished “Charlotte’s Web” a week before, though, makes me wonder about the sudden mortality concern.)
  • Kate took off for a 4-day conference in SLC last night. The girls and I had a graceful bedtime, an uninterrupted night’s sleep and a reasonably smooth countdown and launch this morning. Of course, after walking the girls to the bus stop, exchanging pleasantries with our other parent friends and then walking Syd home again, I realized that I’d been wearing my olive-drab rain shell inside out the whole time. (file under “morning people; we are not actually them yet“)
  • Apple picking at Door Creek Orchard yesterday. Optimistically picked a huge bag of Cortland apples for the coming year, but will I get to peeling them and prepping them for future pies? Watch this space.
  • Today’s my first official day returning to full-time work as a systems geek, doing IT and scaling work with/for friends at VCharge Energy. Radio work will be dropping back to a hobby for a bit — good, flexible, paying work that stands a decent chance of making the world better is too tempting to pass up, at least for a bit.

Dragging myself forward by my eyelids, today

After I prudently decided not to start watching an episode of Dr. Who at 9:57 p.m. last night, I buttoned up the house and climbed into bed by a respectable (and even early, by our sick, sick standards) 10:30 p.m., only to wake at 12:05 a.m. with the same stuffy nose I’ve had for five days and the all-over-body-aches that have been the hallmark of any viral infection I get since the Guillain-Barré. And then was woken by Piper clambering into bed at 4:07 a.m., who stage-whispered to me that she “just wanted to snuggle,” that Carlos the cat “is licking my elbow!” and that “the bed is very full.” Points for accuracy in observation, kid, but let’s discuss cause and effect, what? Continue reading Dragging myself forward by my eyelids, today

Let’s work on the “barter” concept, shall we

«Syd comes galumphing into the room clutching a just-found box of candles in her hand»

Piper, to Syd: “Oh, Syd, I want those candles!”

Me, to Piper: “So what do you do when you want something that Syd’s got?”

Piper, very nearly rolling her eyes: “I … Trade … Her … Something.”

Me: “Yup!”

«Piper looks around, seizes the first portable thing she can grab without moving»

 Piper, to Syd: “Here, Syd, have some stinky pants.”

«Piper snakes the candles out of Syd’s grasp and flits away. Syd cheerfully galumphs after her, clutching the ‘stinky pants’ but clearly intending to get her candles back.»