Life, death, and Herodotus

I received my contract from Chicago just a few weeks after my first child was born. My wife and I had moved across the country for the birth. She grew up in southern California so we chose Laguna Beach for its gorgeous location and proximity to friends and family. I finished the semester at Bryn Mawr and then joined her for a few weeks before the due date. Our son arrived on New Year’s Eve.


The first few months were a challenge and a joy beyond imagination. The radical rupture in our routines felt less significant than the swelling of emotion. I was suddenly growing larger. Listening to a broadcast of the Philadelphia Orchestra, tears streaked my cheeks and splashed dark gray on my son’s white swaddle. That he could experience this beautiful world, that he could share Chopin and surfing and the fields of lupines that waved from the hillsides a few months into his life – this was all so much, too much, completely overwhelming.