Waiting in the car line

I’ve been picking Adam up after school for the last six weeks, give or take a few days. Before that, Beth was picking him up when he got out. They both go to private schools, but Beth was only doing half days. Her school didn’t offer all of the classes she wanted/needed, so she got out early to take her remaining courses online. She had a car and her online courses were pretty flexible, so she could save us money by picking up Adam when he got out of school a little later. She was more than willing to make this sacrifice if there was a little something in it for her – like a car. (Yes, aftercare is that expensive.)

Beth started riding the train to school (which opened after we moved here) after the accident, so it meant Adam had to go to aftercare until I got off work.

If none of this sounds particularly interesting, that’s because it isn’t, but here’s where it gets fun.

I was picking up Adam the other day, and although he was standing right in front of me, they couldn’t find him. They weren’t physically looking for him, they were trying to find him in the books so I could sign him out.

“Why don’t I have Adam on my list?” One woman asked.

“Well, he came over from the car line and…” I stopped listening.

Me: “Adam, I’ve been picking you up for weeks now. You knew no one was coming right after school, so why would you wait in the car line?”

I was sure I was going to hear about someone picking on him in aftercare. I could feel it coming. I was ready to go through all of the emotions. I might have even turned towards the woman looking through her books, assuming they were giving her some cover for what she knew was coming too.

Adam (in a hushed tone): “Can I tell you in the car?”

Something was up. I knew it. I shrugged my shoulders, signed him out, and we left.

Me: “Okay, let me have it.”

Adam: “Well, I knew they were charging by the hour and I figured if I waited in the car line for thirty minutes every day it would save you and mom some money.”

You’ve been waiting in the car line every day?


No is making you, are they?

“No, why would they?”

No one is picking on you in aftercare?


You’re just waiting in line. Every day. Even though you know you don’t have to, because you chose to… to save money?

“Yes, why? Is that bad?”

No, I don’t think so. It’s just… unexpected.

So Adam is working the angles of fourth grade, to save a few bucks.

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The Call

The Call has many forms. There may be as many versions as there are people, but I suspect there are a lot of similarities.

Look at your life. Pick a spot where you are vulnerable, where life has you by the fucking balls. Pardon the colorful metaphor. Now imagine a phone ringing. That’s The Call – in your life. It’s a wily bastard. It changes as your life does, adapting to your weaknesses. For me it changed (again) when my daughter got her driver’s license. When I imagine it, it’s better when it starts with her voice, but my imagination can be a bastard too – so it’s not always much better.

I got The Call Thursday morning at work.

  • “Dad?“ she said with tears in her voice, ”I’VEBEENINANACCIDENTANDIDONTKNOWWHAT….”

  • Beth, stop. Take a breath and start over, but slower this time.

  • “I’ve been in accident and it was my fault and it was so bad and the car spun around and I thought there was enough room but there wasn’t and I’m so scared and it was so bad…”

You’re on dad.

Where to start? It’s easy and freaky hard at the same time, or it is for me. I wanted to know that she was o.k., but in situations like this time slows down. I’m listening to what she’s saying, processing how she’s saying it, and considering not only what I’m going to ask but how I should ask it. I want – NO – I NEED to know if she’s hurt. But at the same time I know she desperately needs something from me too. What I say and how I say it will be parsed in a similar way, though probably not as efficiently given her state of mind. Even a simple question will communicate how I feel. Am I concerned? Mad? Am I panicked, and if so does that mean she should be more worried than she already is? All of this is going through my mind in the span of her single, run-on sentence.

My heart is pounding but concern carves it’s way through my own panic, forcing a slow, measured tone: my loving, calm but concerned, father voice.

  • Beth. Beth. Elizabeth.
  • “Um, yeah?”

  • I just want to know if you’re o.k. Are you hurt?

  • “I think I’m o.k. but I’m scared because I’ve neverbeeninanaccidentbeforeandhaveyoubeenin….”

  • Beth. Beth. Has anyone called for help?

  • “Yes there’s a man here who saw it and he said he was calling and….”

  • Beth. Where are you? Can you tell me where you are?

  • “I was just trying to pull out from our street and I thought I had time but the cars were coming faster than I thought and I tried to stop and….”

  • O.K. Beth. You’re near the house?

  • “Yes. I was just trying to pull out….”

  • Listen to me Beth. I’m coming right now, o.k.? I’m going to be there soon. You know my office is pretty close right? I’m going to be there really soon. You’re not alone.

Fuck that calm crap. Fuck the bad neck. Fuck what anyone else thinks. I ran down the stairs, across the elevated walkway connecting my building to the parking garage, juked a few late arrivals walking the other way, jumped in my car, then took a quick moment to gather myself. I needed to drive there safely. I needed to actually get there.

When I did my eyes ignored everything about the scene, save one thing: my firstborn child, my only daughter, standing on the sidewalk. Looking at me. Crying. But most importantly: standing.

  • Are you o.k. Beth? Does anything hurt?
  • “Nothing hurts but I’m really scared dad.”

We hugged and I looked around, relieved. Her car was pointed in the wrong direction, 180 degrees from the right direction. The SUV that hit her was driving away, driven by the other driver’s spouse. The other driver, an adult, had a small entourage gathered around, twenty yards up the street. The officer on the scene seemed to be camped out with the other adults. Beth, a 17 year old kid, shoulders slumped with shame and shock, had stood alone on the sidewalk on this rainy, overcast morning. Waiting for someone, anyone, to stand with her. For her. Waiting for anything in the world to tilt her way, though fearing she didn’t deserve it, knowing the accident was ultimately her fault, and feeling overrun with guilt.

I knew it could have been much worse. No one seemed to be hurt. The other car was being driven away. But seeing my daughter there, alone, so vulnerable, the weight of the world on her shoulders and feeling as if it was leaning against her – it broke my heart.

I gently took her head in my hands.

  • Beth. Close your eyes and listen to me. Just listen to my voice. Only hear my voice. You are the only thing that matters to me. You didn’t hurt anyone. It was an accident. They happen all of the time. You made a mistake and I can tell you learned something from it. Everyone has accidents. You got to learn from one where no one was hurt.
  • It was just a car.
  • It can be replaced.
  • You can’t.
  • It was just a car.
  • It can be replaced.
  • You can’t.
  • You’re just as special to me as you were two hours ago.
  • It can be replaced.
  • You can’t.
  • I love you.
  • This changes nothing that’s important to me.
  • I’m here with you.
  • I love you.

I want to protect my kids but I know I can’t protect them from everything. I know they shouldn’t always be protected from everything. Childhood is the opportunity to make mistakes in life when the stakes often aren’t so high, to learn by trial and error in a (somewhat) controlled environment.

But of course, we gradually and steadily lose that control as the years pass, until suddenly we realize we’ve lost it altogether – or perhaps was an allusion all along. It’s another one of those things I alluded to in my last post. You can read about it and think you understand. “Yeah, yeah. I get it.”

Then your hysterical child calls you in the morning, when you thought she was safely at school. In a single moment of carelessness, your gifted child pulled out into heavy morning traffic at the wrong moment, the collision spinning her car like a toy. You see the point of impact, the bent axel of the driver’s side front wheel forced back into the ruined transmission. You see the untouched, driver’s side door and you know: a couple of feet was the difference between her standing on the sidewalk crying… and not standing.

There’s nothing like standing there and realizing you didn’t get it at all, but you sure as fuck do now.

**Note: this post was approved for posting by Beth.

Beth Grows Up

The site lost something when the kids got older. When kids get into trouble as an infant, it’s much more amusing than when they’re a teen. Plus, somewhere in between they learn how to read, become aware of the world around them, and don’t find it amusing when they lose control of their own narrative.

I’m making an exception with this post because it’s really about me – and that’s not my ego talking. I’ve been ego impaired since a tragic incident early in my childhood.

Something hit me the other day.

F—! It hit me again! Agh! Damn it! Stop that!

Beth is graduating from High School this year.

I’ve know this for a long time… like some people know they’ll have kids one day. After your first is born (and sometime between the grand entrance and your first all-nighter on the first night home) it hits you. Your life is never going to be the same.

I can’t help but wonder if the same is true when they leave home (the first time). They’re born and BANG – you have a child. Twenty odd years of experience and conditioning, of taking care of yourself and worrying over your own life, (milage will vary) all of it is thrown out the window. Then they leave and BANG – you have a child out in the world. Eighteen years of experience and conditioning, of being responsible for the care and safety of a person in progress, much of it becomes obsolete. I wonder if you can really prepare for either one, or if they both sneak up and shatter your worldview in an instant.

It didn’t hit me when Beth started her senior year, took her SATs, or even when she got her first college acceptance letter. I knew there was no way in this lifetime any of us could pay for it – that or I was in some serious denial. It hit me when she got her second. It hit me again when she scheduled a tour of the campus, and once more when she left for it this morning with Cheryl.

Holy shit. She really is going to go.

Don’t worry about her. She’s gonna be fine. I’m the one you should worry about. One day soon she’s going to leave for college.

For better or worse, I’ll finally know what it’s like to have a child out in the world.

My loss will be your gain.

You’re welcome.

I don’t understand

When my mouth is in sync with my mind, I try not to overuse the word “understand” when it comes to life experiences. It suggests a depth of shared knowledge I think is much rarer than use of the word.

I hope this gives you some sense of what I mean when I say… I don’t completely understand the level of intolerance shown by many people on the basis of race, gender, religion, or just about any other way you can distinguish between groups of people.

For better or worse, our perception of the world takes cues from our environment, both past and present. I recognize at least this much, so perhaps I understand a little. I suspect my environment was unlike the intolerance crowd. It was filled with people who encouraged me to think in relative terms rather than absolutes, to see beauty in diversity rather than chaos, and to seek the deeper meaning in things rather than stopping at the outward appearance.

Perhaps it’s ironic that my bias is to see people, at first glance, for what we have in common rather than how we differ: we are all people. Well, I think I do anyway. No one’s perception is perfect. Because of my nature, most of my contact with other people takes place at work, and because of the nature of my work, I probably interact with a greater variety of people than average. I don’t say this to brag, or to offer it as lame proof of a loving/inclusive nature. ”I can’t be a racist. I have black friends.” I only mention it because it’s given me a lot of information to consider when I self-reflect. As an introvert who suffers from low self-esteem, I can say I do A LOT of self-reflection. As someone who also suffers from depression, I can say I’m not easy on myself. Despite this, it was a bit of a shock the first time a coworker said to me: “everyone likes you John.” It was a greater shock when it occurred to me I tend to like most of them too, when I come out of my shell and talk to people. But here’s one of the keys to this post: I take it for granted others don’t (or didn’t) tend to have the same experience.

At an intellectual level, I know everyone can’t, and don’t get along. Still, it almost always comes as a surprise when I learn two coworkers are not getting along – and I’m the last one to know.

I’m well aware people do terrible things to others throughout the world. I become almost numb to it – probably not unlike many of you. But every once in a while a story will pop up, not even a particularly nasty story (relative to others), and it will be like a quasi-epiphany (only I’ll feel despair rather than joy). Taking my experiences in life for granted, I’ll wonder at how others can be so cruel, for such arbitrary reasons.

But that’s the catch, isn’t it? The reasons aren’t arbitrary at all to those people. Gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation – they’re all “reasons.” I know where some of them come from. And yet… there’s a part of me that doesn’t understand why we can’t move past these “reasons,” why we can’t find and tap some inner source of common humanity in each of us, to find some small amount of compassion… empathy… and turn the hate on its head. I know there’s no magic switch we can flip, that biases, attitudes, stereotypes, etc. take time to change. But at this time in history when the world seems to grow smaller at an accelerated pace, and all of us are increasingly exposed to other people, I would hope our differences would come as less of a surprise – that we would become desensitized to them at a similar accelerating pace. Instead, I fear there are some circles were the opposite is true, and our common humanity is failing to shine through.

This random story of cruelty I mentioned before – it hit me and I think of that inner humanity drying up somewhere, and I mourn its loss.

I do what I do for a living because I want to help people. I think it’s why I had several conversations with pastors growing up and in college – not just because I wanted to understand injustice in our world, or even the roll God does/doesn’t play in its existence. I wanted to know what I could do to help change it.

“Well, to some extent you are John,” was a common reply – followed by some bullshit about leading by example. It was never satisfying. Not even a little. Then my pastor would usually ask if I’d ever thought about going to seminary. The experience was probably the biggest reason I never did.

In hindsight, I know it’s not completely bullshit, but it’s still not satisfying. I feel helpless, particularly now.

One small thing came to mind when I became a parent. I could raise my kids as if the world did not have these arbitrary barriers I’ve mentioned, in addition providing a similar environment that I was raised. That meant if my daughter wanted to go out and kick a soccer ball around the back yard, that’s what we did. If my son wanted to take dance and singing lessons, that’s what he did. (To give just a couple, gender related examples.)

But increasingly, as my daughter races towards adulthood, it feels like some of this idealism should be set aside – and it’s a bit heartbreaking. There’s a difference between the world I want her to live in and the world she will. As the story which hit me recently reminds me, we live in a world where men abuse women, in a disturbing variety of ways and frequency. No, I do not want my daughter to live her life in fear, but at the same time it would be irresponsible to pretend we don’t live in this world. If the world doesn’t treat us all the same, doesn’t it follow, to some extent, that all of us can’t treat it the same?

At times I almost wish I could see the world in absolutes. Making decisions would be SO much easier. Instead I’m often caught in the middle somewhere, as I am now. I’m haunted by the question I think haunts many parents: where and when do I reinforce the difference between the world we should live in and the one we do?

As I finish this up and get ready to post (with woefully little editing), it’s a beautiful Saturday morning in Florida. Cool air is blowing in from the north across the lake, and much in the world seems very right. Yet a few troubling questions persist, both about my small world and the larger one outside it. What more could I do? Should I expect more of myself?

I’m not sure seminary would have helped me now either.


What’s so special about today?

Today is Monday, July 15th, 2013.

Our first born child, a little girl we named Elizabeth Ann, was born on Tuesday, July 15th, 1997.

Maybe you’re not a math person… and that’s ok. Not everyone is, so I’ll do it for you (eventually).

Caveat: my knowing has nothing to do with math and everything to do with said little girl (who’s not so little anymore) asking the following question every 1.25 hours for the last 6.5 months: “Can you believe I’m going to be sixteen years old this year?!?”

Not that I’ve been counting.

You may recall my tale of the head of child psychiatrics at the local children’s hospital diagnosing Beth with Aspergers (or high functioning autism), after a somewhat difficult childhood. You may recall the years of various diagnoses and treatments leading up to it. You may recall the birth defect which led to surgery to remove it and a damaged kidney that it caused.

This is not to say Beth’s childhood was worse than many others’. But it’s hard to consider yourself lucky when your child is suffering.

I’m happy to say Beth is a smart, confident, and independent thinking sixteen year old young adult today.

She may never know the depth of my pride, though not for a lack of trying. Some things are hard to express. Some things are hard to understand until you’ve stood in their shoes.

Happy Birthday kid!


The stone! Give me the stone!

The set-up:
My boy Adam and I were driving home after a haircut this weekend. We were listening to the radio but only one of us was paying close attention.

The conversation:
“I wish I had my notepad.”

Why do you say that Adam?

“Because I want to write something down.”

That’s my boy!


Nothing. What do you want to write down?

“That commercial that was just on…”


“Yeah. Something Stone.. learning languages?”

Rosetta Stone?

“That’s it. Rosetta Stone.”

Why do you want Rosetta Stone?

As my mind turns:
He’s been taking Spanish in school, so I was impressed he was interested enough to learn it on his own time. **I think it’s great he wants to learn other languages, and I’d like to encourage him somehow. However, we’re not in a position to trade a few months of the family’s room and board for The Rosetta Stone Experience.

Meanwhile, back in the real world:
“I’ve been having trouble learning French.”

A popular caffeinated beverage burns through my sinuses…

“Yeah, why?”

I don’t know… how long have you been learning French?

He pauses for about fifteen seconds – ’twas very dramatic…
“I guess since Kindergarten.”

He hasn’t really, but he has been exposed to it by his grandparents.

Later that same day I got a call from my sister (who had been looking at lists and was out Christmas shopping), asking if Beth still wanted to learn Italian.

Italian? I’ll say this: whatever Rosetta Stone is spending on marketing , I’ll bet it’s worth it.

**Please note: I’m not really complaining. To borrow some humor from a GEICO commercial… my kids’ interest in learning and languages in particular makes me happier than a slinky on an escalator. The mock outrage here is simply an attempt at humor when I’m feeling humorless. I’m trying to kickstart a good mood.


Beth, pride, and The Gators

My daughter has been been accepted by the University of Florida.

I am bursting with pride. As Yoda might say, “A proud father I am.”

I admit it’s a touch misleading though. Beth is just finishing ninth grade. She is not graduating early and she is not enrolling with the freshman class at UF next fall. She will be dual-enrolled in college courses next year, but they won’t be at UF (130 miles away). However, she will be one of forty or so kids living on campus for a week this summer to explore scientific areas of study, meet the professors who teach them, and see the research they do when they’re not teaching.

I think the concept of the program is fantastic. I think a lot more kids should have the same opportunity, but I also understand the desire to bring in kids who really want to be there and will get the most out of the experience. I think there’s a way to balance larger enrollment with high enthusiasm, but this isn’t a post about the responsibilities of our public institutions of higher learning – or where we place those institutions on our list of state priorities.

Good thing too – my temper has been running thin lately.

Although I thought Beth’s essay was pretty good (I couldn’t resist a few suggestions to make it better), her grades are perfect, and her letters of recommendation were glowing, I always assumed she wouldn’t get in. I think she’s a capable, confident, smart, and strong young woman who can and will do many things. But Florida is large and forty is small.

Maybe it’s a relatively small thing, but I feel like we won the World Series. I feel like looking up those teachers who treated her no better than the students who bullied her and telling them, “Look at my daughter and see what she has done. Now know this: she has done it in spite of you.”

Where once there was gloom, she is a bright, shining star.

Worth it

Parenting is hard.

For some, this is obvious. For others suffering denial, this is a sign of a severe character flaw. For a blessed few who’s beatification awaits them at their death, who’s names will be remembered in song and psalm for all time, this is an inconceivable truth.

God did us this one favor – he made these people rare. This is not to say parenting is without its rewards. If it was, Homo sapiens sapiens would have died out long ago (no mater how much fun getting there was/is).

This little post is for all of you out there who live in the real world.

Fortunately, there are times that force the hard parts to the rest of life’s background noise, and this weekend was filled with those times.

We took the kids on their first camping trip this weekend. On Friday I worked half a day, Cheryl picked up the kids early from school, and we drove to Orlando for a weekend of camping, Disney style.

Admittedly, Disney, realism, and roughing-it don’t really belong in the same post. But this weekend did involve tents, sleeping outside, camp-side cooking, and relaxed standards of personal hygiene.

Being Disney, it also involved buses, pools, water-slides, campfires with Disney characters and shops stocked with grossly overpriced marshmallows.

We brought our own marshmallows.

While the kids enjoyed the Disney aspects of camping, they also enjoyed its traditional appeal: running around dark campsites with friends exhibiting all the signs of a marshmallow sugar high, setting foods dense in simple sugars on fire, and eating lots of grilled meat.

It warmed my heart just seeing them having fun, soaking up all the new experiences and never growing saturated.

One simple moment almost moved me to tears.

Adam and I were settling down for the night and I knew he was afraid of the dark, preferring to sleep with one or twelve of his stuffed, furry friends for safety. I asked him if he was o.k.

“Well, I wish Halo was here,” (his stuffed dog), “but I’m o.k. because you’re here with me.”


Life changes

Catching up…

How long has it been since my last post with substance? By any measure it’s been a while, so I thought I’d bring you up to speed on my life (a melodramatic adventure sure to keep you reclined in your seat).

If you want to skip the whining, I don’t blame you. Skip down to where it says: “The Good Stuff.”

Relative to my life, there’s a lot of change going on these days. They’re the kind of changes you see coming months down the road, so there isn’t any shock involved. I don’t consider myself afraid of change, but I am saddened by some of them.

Seeing it comimg, I’ve spent the last several months feeling a little melancholy.

Nothing is changing as much as work. Just about everything is changing except the person signing my checks. No, work isn’t my whole life, but I do spend a lot of my life at work. I’ve worked with my team for almost seventeen years.

Dear Lord, seventeen years. In many ways I don’t feel far removed from being seventeen. Working for a single employer this long seems unheard of, let alone within the same organizational unit. Maybe change is overdue.

We’ve changed some in that time. No organization goes completely unchanged for that long. I’ve been promoted, we’ve changed locations, and our team’s responsibilities have evolved. But this week we’re essentially blowing the whole thing up and starting over. (Looking at the big picture, this will be a good thing for the people we serve). Me and most of my coworkers (some for the entire 17 years) will scatter to the winds.

These folks have been my friends, counselors, mentors – my family – for a long time. I’ll miss them all terribly.

Speaking of work, our health insurance is changing, though not to the extend things are at the office. This is (hopefully) a tweak to our coverage – another move by state leaders to balance the budget on the backs of those with little political pull. It appears nothing of consequence is changing, but healthcare is one place I DO fear change.

Speaking of insurance, we were dropped by our homeowner’s insurance provider – like many of our fellow Floridians. We’ve never made a claim, our property has never been damaged by storms (from the time our house was built), we’re not in a flood zone, and we’re at a relatively high elevation for living on the world’s largest populated sandbar. (Note: I don’t know if that’s in any way true.) Gosh darn it, we’re good people too!

Like many Floridians, this leaves us at the mercy of the insurer of last resort: a semi-public organization that until recently was forbidden by state law to charge less than the private competition. (I think there are still some restrictions, but until now I’ve had little reason to pay close attention.) Heaven forbid! That’s right: even if all the private insurance companies in Florida didn’t want our business, the state is forbidden to do it cheaper – even if it could.

It gets better. State leaders, under the guise of “doing something about rising insurance rates,” did what good Republicans do best: they made it easier for big business to fuck us. Insurance companies are no longer required to provide sink hole coverage as part of a standard homeowner’s policy. Of course they can write separate policies for sink hole coverage at rates dictated by “The Free Market (R).” The best part of this is we’ll be paying twenty-five percent more for coverage without the sink hole coverage.

Three cheers for the Florida Legislature!

Some of you may be wondering, “why should folks be forced to buy sink hole coverage?” Some of you may wonder why we’re required to carry auto insurance if we drive. Some of you may wonder why it “only takes one time” to have a child.

OK, that wasn’t fair. Even many Floridians don’t know why we have sink holes in Florida. Google “karst topography” and/or the Florida Aquifer. You’ll find a much better explanation than I could give. For now, just take it on faith – we get a lot of sink holes in Florida. Not having sink hole coverage is like not having collision insurance for the left side of your car.

Actually, that’s probably not fair to auto insurance. Claims involving sink holes are the most common among all claims on homeowner’s policies in Florida. (In the interest of full disclosure I’m not sure that’s true.) I’ll bet cars are stolen or rear-ended way more often than they take a driver’s side T-Bone.

Yeah, WAY!

Anyway, that’s all I have in the way of self-pity for now. That wasn’t too bad was it?

** – – The Good Stuff – – **

The good news is the depression has been mostly under control for a while now. I’ve had little tastes here and there, but it’s been short term stuff – not the weeks/months of hopelessness that have consumed me in the past. I don’t like drugs, but I like depression a LOT less.

The leukemia remains in the shadows. It’s not in remission, but it hasn’t been for two years now. We’re still waiting for the symptoms to be worse than the cure, and we’re still not close.

Now THAT’S chronic baby!

Beth is continuing her tear through high school. She brought home yet another semester of straight A’s this month. It’s getting to the point I can’t remember when she last got something other than an A. In fact, she was exempted from mid-terms for her efforts, so she got extra time tacked onto Christmas Break.

This is where Cheryl tells you I can’t remember this morning, so don’t be too impressed.

If Beth is on a tear, Adam’s using a wrecking ball. I think I’ve signed (maybe) two tests where he missed one question since he started first grade in August. Part of me worries it’s too easy – that what he’s primarily learning is he doesn’t have to try.

Leave it to me to worry after only a few months of first grade – because his grades are TOO good.

Cheryl and I started doing things without the kids again, thanks to slave labor Beth’s increasing maturity and responsibility. It’s been a long time since we did things together on a regular basis – too long. We’re fixing that now.

It’s my favorite time of year in Florida. We can go outside without a gallon of fresh water for every hour we’re out. It’s not as cool as I’d like, but it is still Florida. We’ve been skating, hiking, walking, and generally enjoying outdoor life.

Where ever you are, I hope you’re getting plenty of chances to enjoy life too.


My boy

Adam still likes stuffed animals. We thought he might outgrow this “faze” by the time he started kindergarten. He hasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not something that disturbs me in any way. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It reflects his personality – a sweet, sensitive kid. Often he’ll notice I’m not feeling too well, and without a word he’ll leave a surprise for me by my pillow. Tonight it’s a soft little white bunny to keep me company – to make me feel a little better.

He won’t mention it afterwards. It’ll disappear one night, only to be replaced by another when necessary. I wonder if he does it to let me know he was there, he cares, and just wants to help in his own special way – no glory or special credit – just a little piece of timely love.

Maybe I’m reading too much into the actions of a six year old boy. Maybe it doesn’t matter what the precise reason is, just intent and results.

Adam, my dear sweet child – we love you.