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The Sun Magazine

Family and Relationships

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Sy Safransky's Notebook

March 2011

What if we extended as much kindness and generosity to everyone as we do to our own children and grandchildren? It’s shameful that I still make a distinction between the small number of people who matter the most to me and the nearly 7 billion other humans on the planet.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Girl, Ruined

One December morning in 1967, in the early hours before a dull winter sunrise, I labored alone on the fourth floor of Immanuel Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. I had expected labor to be work, more or less like it sounded: teeth-gritting effort, sweating, and grunting. Instead furious stallions stampeded across my eighteen-year-old belly, and no amount of shameless screaming in the direction of the fluorescent-lit hallway could quiet them.

Fiction

Aglaglagl

He has been making inferences, figuring out what it is to be. He invents a language that expresses his awareness. His sentences are marvelously efficient, each one containing a whole chapter of his philosophy. “Aglaglagl” is one. He says it when the dog’s nose comes to visit the bassinet.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Best Part

At my former father-in-law’s funeral in November, I walked up to my ex-husband Billy and kissed him. It was our fifth kiss in thirty years: one when we finalized our divorce, one at his mother’s funeral, one at our son’s wedding, one at the birth of our twin grandchildren four months before, and now this kiss, with its hint of grief. I still loved his parents. And I had loved him once.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

You, All Of You

His palsied hands shiver as he twists the fishing line one, two, three, four times around, then threads it through. He pulls the tangle of line tight and drops the blue-silver lure. It swings between us. “That’s a fisherman’s knot,” Pa Peters tells me, and he chuckles and pushes his thick glasses up the bridge of his bent nose. “That’s how you do it.”

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Thin Pink Line

In 1994 I was twenty-two years old and had just graduated with a literature degree from the University of California at San Diego. Though I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career, I’d recently stood up on a surfboard for the first time and thought I might just have discovered my purpose in life.

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