Embraced by Haiti
A man with a charming accent was fixing my uncharming TV. “Where are you from?” I asked. “Haiti.” “Oh! I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for your country!” He paused and then said, “I’ve never met one of you, but we learned about you in high school.” An almost invisible footnote to history: Throughout the 1930s, Haiti issued passports to Jews escaping the Nazis. My father was among the recipients. To my surprise, this charming man began to cry. “Can I hug you?” I asked shyly. He nodded. I felt as if a whole country was embracing me. — Kathryn Talalay
A Relationship Like This
When Mariah and I shower together, we laugh a ton. We recap our days and complain about work and plan our weekends. I lather her soap. She counts the freckles on my collarbone, which makes me feel pretty. I used to hate showering with other people. Then I met Mariah, someone I never want space from. Showering with her is like loving her: safe, comfortable, refreshing, happy. It’s odd to feel safe and comfortable and refreshed by a relationship like this, one I was always told is wrong. Gay daughter. Religious upbringing. So it goes.— Megan Mueller
Tod was Rip Van Winkle in the 8th grade play. I, second seat oboe in the orchestra, took note. We dated our senior year. The eventual breakup — so jagged, so sorrowful. Ten years later, the edges smoothed and we met for walks with views of Manhattan. I introduced Tod to Jill, from my Brooklyn dance class, and read a poem at their wedding. Three years later, Tod delivered his tennis friend, Peter. Jill wondered if Peter, a polite Southern gentleman, had enough edge for me, an outspoken New Yorker. Line call. Peter did, and still does. Game, set, double match. — Gail Esterman
Striped Blue Onesie
My 20-month-old daughter, Siya, was screaming and fussy after a long day at day care. When it was time to change her dirty clothes, she kept insisting, “Blue shirt! Blue shirt!” I brought out three different blue onesies which she threw away wildly, almost in disgust. Siya kept pointing at me. Finally it hit home: I was wearing a striped blue dress shirt. “Can we wear this one?” I asked, holding up her striped blue onesie. “Yes, yes!” she screamed. She wanted to match her dad. — Alok Morarka
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