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In Medias Res


This week is an odd duck of sorts–I’m between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of the first summer term in my graduate program–and it’s a little bit like having a vacation. My stress level’s returned to normal. I can contemplate watching TV after the kids go to bed.

It’s also the week-after U8 soccer ended its spring season. We played the last game in a steady (and at times heavy) rain, beating our opponents 5-0. Julia came away with a pair of goals (!!) and Thomas contributed well offensively. I helped coach the team with Kirk Lawton, and once more I finished reminded of how much joy there is in watching groups of young people coalesce and grow together.

We are entering the age range of youth sports, however, in which the comments from the parents’ side of the field occasionally veers into queasy territory.

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To My Darling Annie

DIARY
Annie redefines Wacky Wednesday.

Oh, the smiles you inspire.


Dear Annie Elizabeth:

Your voice, I’ve come to realize, is like birdsong. Your chatter in the mornings as we get ready for work and school, the kind where you are preoccupied with little figurines in the midst of some drama, is easy and bright. Something there is so lovely about a child-soprano tittering throughout the house.

This verbal measure has increased noticeably as you’ve approached your third trip around the sun. When you were younger, your mother and I laughed that with two talkative siblings, you may never have a chance to get a word in edgewise.

You’ve shown no signs of letting Julia and Thomas get in your way, though.

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Reflexes, and other measures


Yesterday I had my annual physical exam, an event I anticipate with equal parts curiosity and nervousness. My primary care physician is a veritable wikipedia of medical knowledge, a walking nerd in other words, and it’s borderline comical to sit in an exam room with him as he walks through various rudimentary tests of my health.

He’ll note, for instance, that my pupils are round and react quickly to light, my eyes are white and don’t show any signs of redness or jaundice, and that I track well. My shoulders rotate well, offer no signs of popping or tension as they rotate, and my biceps react quickly when he taps on them with a small rubber hammer.

He says all of these things out loud, almost as if he is dictating to someone. It reminded me of how Japanese train conductors point to things and say what they’re doing out loud in an effort to be fully attentive in their work.

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