The day I swapped my dad for two goldfish

thWe’ve been looking into the subtle and not so subtle messages of children’s books this week. Today I’ve selected one of my favorites, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean. It’s a clever little story about a boy who really liked the two new goldfish his friend Nathan brought over to show him. He liked them so much, he offered pretty much any of his toys for a trade. Nathan turned down everything.

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Micawber: an extraordinary Central Park squirrel

FullSizeRender 4Micawber is an ordinary grey squirrel who lives in New York’s Central Park. But that’s about the only thing that’s ordinary about him.

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Go, dogs. Go!

thMarti loves children’s books. She loves to buy them; I love to read them; and until reading became something painful for Chandler, he loved to be read to. Not that there was any serious correlation between the two, but for Marti, having children was a really good excuse for buying more children’s books. She still buys them occasionally, especially if they are illustrated well. With our first grandchild due in November, I expect we will start picking up on the children’s book market.

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Grieving couple starts over

th-2Marti introduced herself to me last night. We shook hands. I told her my name was John and she asked me if I spelled it with or without an “h.” What was she doing? She was illustrating that as a couple, we have a choice. Having gone through the devastating reality of sending our 15-year-old son away to a place that will provide for him what we could not, we can let this reality drive us apart as we each deal with the guilt and failure by sinking deeper into our own isolation and irritation, or we can realize that this reality has significantly altered us. We are simply not the people we were before, and the positive side of that is that we are now new. Our relationship is new. Let’s find out who we are. Thus, the introduction.

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Grieving couple creates care package

thWe are getting Chandler’s first care package ready to send out today. More of his clothes, his backpack, shampoo and conditioner, more pictures to add to the photo album Marti made that we sent along with him, a personal CD player (remember those? He has no access to the Internet so Pandora and iTunes are out), some CDs I think he might like, his camera, and two sweet notes that two of his friends dropped by — the most unlikely ones to do such a thing. These are kind kids. Most of his friends are furious at me for sending him away.

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Don’t wait until you’re profound

Anne, John, Chandler.

Anne, John, Chandler.

Wow. Unbelievable. Awesome. Don’t know what to say. We are overwhelmed. The outpouring of love and prayer support for our family from all of you is truly humbling. (See yesterday’s Catch.)

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Grace: here for us; here for you

IMG_0024It’s pretty quiet around here now — much too quiet. We walk around with a hole in our hearts. It’s a gaping hole, not a little puncture wound. We cry a little bit every day.

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Codependent town

th-73Change always means adjusting to what’s uncomfortable. All change, even for the good, is upsetting.

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