Civilization or Bust

Ellie — Well, you’ve now come and gone again. It had been almost three months since your grandfather and I had seen you — and I was struck by how much you’ve changed. When you first saw us this time, you sat and regarded us…

Hire Education

Ellie — Since you recently turned nine months and are motoring your way into toddlerhood, I think it’s time to talk about something serious: jobs. Yes, jobs. I’m not talking about a career or profession, which is a serious business you don’t have to think…

Time Well Spent

Dear Ellie — You’re looking really happy these days, busily exploring the world around you. Recently, when Opa and I were talking to you on FaceTime, your little face lit up at the sight of us — we thought. Turns out, you just wanted your…

Who’s Sorry Now?

Ellie, my sweet babboo, my busy little crawler — Today, I want to tell you a story. It starts with me. Thirty years ago, when I was in my mid-thirties, I started to get yearly mammograms. No one told me to do it, but it…

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…