The Eleventh Word


Best of 2020

We’re away until January 4, but we’re reposting some of our favorite pieces from 2020. Enjoy your holiday!

The sky was a slate of electric indigo. We were sitting in the bath, my year-and-a-half-old son and I. My wife popped her head in the door. He looked at her, giving her a smile I will never get, and then pointed to the painting of a magenta fish on the wall.

“Sheesh,” he said.

“Fish?” She said.

“Sheesh!” He said.

It was, perhaps, his eleventh word. He had dog and ball and duck and bubble and mama and (mysteriously in our lesbian household) dada and nana (for banana) and vroom vroom (for cars) and hah-hah (for hot) and (the root of so many of our evils) what’s dat? What’s dat? What’s dat?

And then, there it was: fish.