What I saw

An entry in my son’s April journal, a regular writing exercise in his second grade classroom:

What I saw was not normal. It had a cat’s head and a wolf’s snout. It had monkey fur too. But whatever I saw I want it.

The writing on the wall

At the aforementioned birthday celebration, my son and his group of friends found graffiti on a wall behind a tall hedge in a park. They decided that it was the key to a mystery, which they spent the next 30 minutes trying to solve. It said: Love stories may save me.

I believe that children are the future, part MCLLVI

My daughter asked to have a spider removed from her room. When we didn’t respond quickly enough, she said, in a raised voice, “Regarding the aforementioned spider, please remove it!”

My son and a few friends were celebrating his 8th birthday. They had finished one game and were considering what to do next. One of them said, “Let’s steal a minivan!”

My son and daughter were playing an imaginary game the logic of which I was unable to follow. But eventually my daughter said to my son, “Why are you hiding a nun from me?”

Later this morning

In the second-grade hallway of my son’s school, saw worksheets by students responding to the prompt: “I will take concrete steps to reach my goal of:”

A sample of the responses:

Getting a horse
Being a chemist
Seeing my dad
Being a nanny
Getting to the major league
Becoming a YouTuber

The smartest thing

The smartest thing I did on Tuesday was read poems by Tomas Tranströmer. It was an accident that kept me breathing.

The smartest thing I did this morning was read poems by Jean Valentine. Here’s one:




Friend I need your hand every morning

but anger and beauty and hope

these roses make one rose.


Friend I need a hand every evening

but anger and hope and beauty

are three roses

that make one rose.


Let’s fix our bed it’s in splinters

and I want to stay all year.


Let’s fix our bed it’s in splinters

and I want to stay all year.


Did you hear what that woman on Grafton Street was saying?


You won’t be killed today.

We don’t even know we’re born.


Jenna and Wesley

I just need you to know that I love this podcast, hosted by Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris, two smart people with interesting friends, expansive minds, and genuine friend-chemistry between them.

They’re not afraid to be goofy, but there’s a minimum of in-jokey pod-chatter. They’re not afraid to get deeply analytical, but they don’t showboat. And they’re not afraid to be emotional, period. (They were audibly distraught in their first post-election session–and then they visited the amazing Margo Jefferson, who talked about not wanting to leave her apartment the day after the election “because I didn’t want to behave.”)

Jenna and Wesley also write for the Times–thoughtful, humane, complicated writing about culture and technology and politics and so on. They’ll make you proud to have a working brain and a beating heart.

I believe that children are the future, part XXIII

We were unable to attend the Women’s March on Washington, but my daughter wanted to make a sign anyway. The sign says: “If you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us.”

On a completely unrelated note, we were discussing creative ways to curse someone, and my son suggested “dirty slimy lice exoskeleton.”

Generation  Branding & Communication for Nonprofits