Coincidences and Katherine Paterson

The world is a funny place. I sat down with my breakfast this morning and a book I’d just pulled off the shelf. I wanted something different than the thriller mystery I’m currently in the middle of (I’m not so keen on eating a poached egg while reading the description of a three-day old murdered man). When I skimmed my bookshelf for something to fit my mood, my eyes landed on The Invisible Child by Katherine Paterson. I finished my egg about two pages into one essay, but I sat there to read on, finished that essay and then read two more.… Read the rest

Born Standing Up

I can remember sitting on the living room couch, my feet barely hanging off the edge of the cushion, listening to records—or LPs as my parents still call them—through speakers that flanked our upright piano. Two of my favorites were comedy albums—Bill Cosby and Steve Martin. When I listened to my musical albums, like Sha-Na-Na or Disney’s Mousercise, I danced or turned cartwheels in the open space of the living room. But those comedy albums were like read-aloud stories, and for those I sat quietly and listened. I don’t know how many of the jokes I understood, or exactly what it was that I found funny.… Read the rest

X-Box Go Boom

My husband and I were out to dinner tonight and overheard a conversation between a mother and her son, who I would guess was around 10. The boy was upset about something to do with a friend named Joe. I heard the mom say, “Well, you just tell him, you say, ‘Joe, I know it was an accident when you knocked the X-Box off the table, but my mom says you have to tell your parents or she will.’ ”And this is where the boy became particularly distressed. He responded, “But I already told him that, sort of. And he said that I should let him talk to you.… Read the rest