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The Gift of Sally Ride’s Secret

I stayed up until 4 a.m. last night reading Lynn Sherr’s biography, Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space, an unwise choice, given my schedule for today. Now, I’m sitting on my flight home to Seattle from NYC, where I just finished it, sniffling quietly, hoping my seatmate doesn’t notice my tears. After I read the last page, I spent several minutes flipping through the photographs in the center of the book, staring at the various renditions of this famous woman, pictured from infancy into her fifties, then rereading snippets of pages, marveling at her complexity and wondering at the price she paid for the choices she made. […]

December 19th, 2014|

The Winter Solstice

  I know it’s Christmas time, but there’s something I love more than presents, much more. In fact, I don’t really like receiving presents. I struggle to muster appreciation, because I usually feel undeserving; I’m usually dissatisfied with myself in some way or another. Either I’ve lost my cool and been less than pleasant to my wife about something trivial, or I’ve made a crummy business decision that’s reverberated badly and disrupted an intended outcome, or I’m behind on my daily exercise regimen, or something else…. You get the picture. But the winter solstice, now that’s an occasion I can wholeheartedly celebrate. It’s actually just a single moment in time, one that arrives each year right around December 20th, when the northern hemisphere is shrouded in darkness longer than any other time of the year. I love its arrival, because the shortest day of the year heralds the slow return of longer days, and everyone in our hemisphere knows that longer days means SUMMER! And I love summer. I love the sunshine, the warm weather, the seemingly endless daylight in the great NW that we luxuriate in, our payback for the meager eight and not-quite-a-half hours we are eked out at this time of year, most of which are dimmed by the fog that hugs our many lakes or the steel grey clouds that dominate our skies. […]

December 16th, 2014|

Acknowledging the Truth about Children (No Matter Where They Come From)

Undoubtedly, I’m biased. I never subjected myself or my marriage to any fertility treatments. But after my first child, Liala Ljunggren, died the day after her due date, a full-term stillborn gorgeous baby girl, I spent two years on the rollercoaster of trying to get pregnant again: transforming sex into a purely utilitarian act and weeping every time my period came. I remember reading news stories about abusive parents whose destroyed children had to be removed from their care and literally wailing out loud, pleading with the stony, unresponsive universe, “I wouldn’t have done that, I promise! Won’t you just give me a chance, please?” […]

December 11th, 2014|

Gratitude & Grace

In my world, gratitude is standard fare at Thanksgiving, along with the chestnuts and prunes and sweet potatoes smothered with toasted marshmallows. It’s a nice antidote to the vicissitudes of daily family life, which is rife with difficult topics. Boy, don’t I know that, as I catalogue my own list of what I’m grateful for, with the end of my standoff with my homophobic father near the top of the list. But more of that in a minute… […]

November 27th, 2014|

As the Sports World Turns: Underdog to Top Dog & Back

I know, I’m a sucker. I love underdogs. I love their grit, their feisty, never-say-die relentlessness. I love their refusal to read the writing on the wall that spells out their inferior status. I love their eagerness to take on any opponent, their readiness to step up to a challenge—especially an outsized one. I especially love watching underdogs win. […]

November 26th, 2014|

Who’s Lucky Now?

I confess, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I didn’t back 25 years ago, when I started investigating the adoption process and I sure as hell don’t today, having raised two children virtually from birth who didn’t enter our family via birth canal. Every time someone tells me how lucky my children are for having been adopted into my family, I want to gag; instead, I politely tell them I’m the lucky one. […]

November 20th, 2014|
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