1992: Late one night, when Cal arrives home from a business trip, he comes into the bedroom holding a scrap of paper. “You have to get this book,” he says, handing me the paper. “I heard her on NPR.” On the paper, Pam Houston, Cowboys Are My Weakness. In the spring, it’s chicken pox. First Bobby, then Jack. Four weeks of confinement. And Jack has them e v e r y w h e r e. We watch the VCR so continuously it breaks, and I call Circuit City and beg them to deliver and install. And the guy does. Kathleen gets braces. And yet. We think we might want one more… In June I head back to France with Kathleen and my parents and brother. This time, I get to play tour guide, which I enjoy. My sister and her family are living in England and they join us. Bobby starts kindergarten. Kathleen starts sixth grade. It’s pirate birthday parties. And yes, I’m pregnant again. In the annual Christmas card picture, Bobby wears his Flash pjs and Jack, Robin. I buy the 10,000 Maniacs MTV Unplugged video. Over and over at night, after the kids go to bed, Cal and I watch Natalie Merchant twirl and twirl, but my favorite part is Natalie singing at the end with David Byrne–Let the Mystery Be

25 days to 60


Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver