The plan was to convene all four family members for a simple, quiet winter holiday. It was the first time in five years that we would be together for Christmas.
But then reality intervened, in the form of life-threatening illness. Christmas this year was an emergency flight back to the country where the kid has health insurance. Tests, hospitals, specialists. Listening, advising, arguing with doctors, making soup, holding the hand of an adult I still see as my baby.
My child is resilient and will recover, not least because that is the mandate handed down from my own mother. But the business of parenting does not get easier as the kids get older. And I am, once again, humbled by the knowledge of what my mother endured and accomplished.
Happy holidays from John Abernethy Kingdom.
Family tradition: locked in a room somewhere with candy, Moomins, and a whole saved up season of Doctor Who! (Yes, we’re all technically “grown” but who cares)
We’re officially ready.
Sylvia Plath ephemera including Girl Scout uniform, paper dolls, childhood ponytail, Fulbright recommendation, selection of final letters. Smithsonian.
This show was heartbreaking in many ways, not least because it provided visceral illustration of an obvious truth: she was young when she died.
Quilt made from 432 Whig ribbons commemorating Harrison campaign, inauguration, and death. By Abigail Ann Lane, c. 1841 / Smithsonian