Monday, May 27, 2013


 Dear Spike:

By the time A.A. Milne got around to dedicating his book of poems called "Now We Are Six," the girl to whom it was dedicated, a childhood friend of Christopher Robin named Anne Darlington, was seven.

So it goes. Now you are six. Soon you will be seven. And, Insha'Allah, you'll one day be eight and nine and ten. I worry already about 16. About 18. And, dear God, 21! But this is silly. The world spins and we are on it. And now you are six, and this is a such a wonderful age.

It is, as Milne recognized, a wonderful age to recite poetry, which is a thing we seldom do these days; I'm not sure why. Maybe, I think, we are scared of the monsters that trip our tongues and tussle our thoughts. These monsters get bigger as we get older -- and this is something I will write to you about, in greater depth, very soon. For now, though, it suffices to say that your monsters are very small and fairly tame, and so six is a good time to practice being brave.

Happy birthday, my little one. Now you are six. And this is a very good age, indeed.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Dear Spike,

You sort of wobbled a bit, legs akimbo, and then you just fell over sideways. I'm not sure how you ultimately managed to and on your face, but that is what you did.

Your sharp little chin hit the big rough asphalt with rather predictable consequences. It wasn't bad – a little road rash, a little blood — but it was enough to send you crying into my arms.

And there you remained for all of 10 seconds.

Then you bounced up, grabbed your handle bars, took a couple of confused moments to figure out that they were spun around backward, and hefted yourself onto the seat.

"OK," you said. "Let's go back."

You're a tough little cookie, and you always have been. I hope that never changes. The world is, of course, a tough place. Sometimes we fall. Sometimes we take it on the chin.

But get back up. Get back up. Get back up.