Snapshots of Life

Little Negotiations

Overheard while driving: Isaac: “Twust me, Eli. Tomowow is my birfday.” Wife: “Isaac, your birthday isn’t until September.” Isaac: “Is that tomowow?” Wife: “No, sweetie. It’s a lot of days away.” Isaac: “Oh.” And then later, while Eli and Isaac flop around like otters in the bathtub, periodically splashing either me or my newspaper, or …

Food-Minded

You can often discern what Isaac is thinking, even if he doesn’t tell you. When he wants to make trouble, his lips are pulled thin and the tip of his tongue shows through his teeth. When he is irritated, his eyebrows push together and he squints like a little cross-eyed thug. Plus there’s usually some …

Learning

“Dad,” Eli explained, “water is stronger than crumbs, and germs are stronger than water.” I’m not sure what he means, exactly, but I have the feeling he’s right. Somewhere in his fantastic brain he’s thought this out, because that’s how he is; he thinks and thinks, and then he shares the connections his synapses have …

Linger

Valentine’s evening, after the rush of work and dinner was over, three little boys gathered around my chair. Caleb and Eli each handed me brown lunch bags covered in heart-shaped stickers. Inside Caleb’s was a collection of elaborate cut-out hearts, two Reese’s peanut-butter cups, a little candy bar, and a handful of those confection-sugar hearts …

Not Scared

We’re watching The Polar Express, Caleb, Eli, Isaac, and I. It’s cold and icy outside, and so we’re jumbled together on the couch, watching the magical Polar Express sway and slide across thin ice. A frightened expression has been forming on Isaac’s face. He clutches his favorite ducky close to his cheek and watches the …