Learning to Crawl

Ellie — Opa and I took a wonderful trip to Seattle to see you and your parents two weeks ago. We came back with lots of warm memories, a zillion photos of you and us, and, as a bonus, the cold you had. What did we…

Too Many Eyes of the Beholders

Ellie — Opa and I are coming to see you the day after tomorrow. We can hardly wait. In the meantime, we are living in the midst of a massive Austin festival called South by Southwest. Music, education, film, interactive sessions — you can get…

The Other Babies

Ellie — I first knew about you on Christmas Day, 2014. Your mother was nauseated most days and thought she should tell Opa, Uncle Nick, and me why. We were thrilled, bursting with happiness. Truth is, we were bursting, period, since we couldn’t tell anybody…

Introducing Your Maternal Grandfather

Dear Ellie — I’m thinking the time has come to introduce you to your maternal grandfather, Opa. After all, his 66th birthday is coming up on March 2, a/k/a Texas Independence Day, which you may not celebrate in Seattle. This is a little daunting. I’ve been…

Actually, Failure is Always an Option

Ellie — You’re six months old now, and your latest accomplishment, according to your parents, is doing a great plank pose. Here you are in mid-action: What fine form! A couple of thousand miles away, I’m recovering from my most recent MOHs surgery — removing…

Different Places in Our Lives

Dear Ellie — You’re rolling over now. Opa and I were trying to talk to you on FaceTime, but you couldn’t be bothered for long. You’d get a determined look on your face, and voila, you’d flip onto your stomach — delighted with yourself and ready…

The Teal Stories

Dear Ellie — When you’re pregnant, one of the most delightful tasks you have is to pick out a name for the baby. Well, wait a minute. Delightful may be overstating it. It’s a big responsibility to name a new human being, after all. And,…

Platitudes and Attitudes

Dear Ellie — When you go through a tough time in your life, people often line up to help. Their good intentions are really touching — but most of them also want to give you advice. The trouble is, much of their well-meaning advice sucks. They say everything happens…

The Surgeon, the Strip Club, and the Month of January

Ellie, my own sweet girl — We got to see you at Thanksgiving and Christmas both this year. Even in those three weeks in between, we could see so many changes in you — more focus, better head control, a fascination with your own hands….

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Dear Ellie — Read or listen to the news today, and you will probably conclude you were born in the worst of times. Global warming! Terrorism! Fanaticism! Violence, rampant obesity, apathy, bad grammar, ignorance! We’re doomed! I hope I haven’t neglected any areas of concern,…