Search: atticus

Head case

August 25, 2008

Oh, the travails of parenthood. How do father and mother anticipate this scenario: Atticus, newly turned three, begins crying. We find him wearing on his head a rigid cardboard can, his Lincoln Logs container. “Why are you crying, son?” I ask. “It’s stuck!” he wails. We can’t budge it. Suzame pries out his ears and […]

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Wildlife in the city

August 12, 2008

“Daddy, I see raccoons,” Atticus says over breakfast today, his third birthday. The raccoons frequently visit our garage roof and use the ladder leading to our Portland backyard.

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Gun: does not compute

August 9, 2008

Atticus Bales Tong, three days shy of three years old, doesn’t know the meaning of the word gun. Suzame and I didn’t set out to deprive him of this knowledge, though it’s no doubt a dividend of allowing scant TV viewing — and only since he turned two. I learned this today when I handed […]

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Drummer points the way

July 31, 2008

“You just changed the course of my son’s life,” I tell Phil Bondy. Phil’s a young guy pounding away on a full drum set at the corner of Northeast Alberta and 13th in Portland. Atticus, who turns three in less than two weeks, is enthralled. The occasion is Last Thursday, the once-a-month event when the […]

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Boy and the bug

July 9, 2008

This morning at breakfast, my little boy Atticus freaked out when a big fly buzzed on a window near him. It seemed like an overreaction for someone who dug worms and fed them to the goldfish in our little pond before he could walk. (Easy for me to judge.) Maybe this stunning photo will make […]

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Faded away

July 8, 2008

How will Atticus, my son of nearly three, see his past at my age, more than a half-century hence? At his fingertips he’ll have countless digital photographs and videos chronicling his life. Hundreds are already burned onto hard drives and into his brain: the boy loves to sit on my lap and watch them. The […]

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Iraq: What have we done?

June 19, 2008

Unlike past wars, the Iraq war is an abstraction. We rarely glimpse the unspeakable suffering. Most of the media have lost interest. Some stalwarts remain, chronicling events beyond our comprehension. As much as I hate this war, I’ve never let what happens there penetrate my comfortable life here. Until now. Reality intruded last night when […]

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Hidden worlds

June 19, 2008

When I first saw Jason Tozer’s photographs, including this one used with his permission, I thought they were from a newly discovered solar system. Tozer’s work is a stunning reminder that we think we see so much so clearly but actually see little. Hidden worlds abound at our fingertips, their existence beyond our grasp. I’ll […]

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Happy Father’s Day. From my youngest son, two months shy of three, comes a gift. “I’ll draw a picture for Dad,” Atticus tells his mother, Suzame. He conjures up Everyman confronting the wonders and perplexities of the world. Our little oracle comments on life like I never did at his age. Take this recent gem: […]

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Stooping to a new low, the Clintons tried today to undermine my family’s support for Barack Obama. They dispatched Chelsea to enlist our little boy, Atticus, in a duplicitous campaign to persuade us to switch our allegiance. While Atticus and his mother, Suzame, waited for friends outside the entrance to the Oregon Zoo in Portland, […]

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Stopping Time

April 30, 2008

Suzame, Atticus, and I wait for our food in the dinner-crowd din at Ken’s Artisan Pizza on SE 28th. I gaze out the window. People awash in early evening light pass on the sidewalk. A young man comes into view. Hip-looking in that Portland style that anyone on the eastside under 30 wears like skin. […]

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Dapper Cadavers

April 26, 2008

Blue sky and a breath of warm air do wonders for Portland, especially on a Saturday in the midst of a cold spring. Among the throngs at the downtown Farmers Market are people with eyes closed, faces turned reverently toward the sun. Strolling past baked goods and rows of vegetable starts for the garden, I […]

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Bad day turns bright

April 23, 2008

A familiar formula: too little sleep plus a frenetic start to the day equaled foul mood. My black cloud lifted in two stages. Stage one: spotting one of our little boy’s books in the bathroom, propped against the wall directly across from the toilet. Suzame bought it for Atticus, and this was the first time […]

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