2020年5月30日 星期六

‘I Love You, Kid, but Please Get Off Me’

The upsides and downsides of family togetherness.
A roundup of new guidance and stories from NYT Parenting.

I’m making a concerted effort to find a couple of bright spots during this massively difficult time. Getting my kids into hiking has been one of those silver linings. If we were in normal times, a sunny Saturday would mean cartoons until 10, and then meeting friends at a local park. But in coronatimes, it means loading up the car and finding a new trail to conquer. Is there whining? Always! But there are also hiking nicknames (my little one is “the scrambler” and I’m “the navigator”) and pretty vistas and something to look forward to.

At its core, these outings are about family togetherness, which is what Clint Edwards is grateful for this week. He has a lovely essay about how quarantine has forced his family to slow down and appreciate time spent as a unit, rather than rushing around to a million activities.

Speaking of togetherness, we have one of my favorite recent headlines: “I Love You, Kid, but Please Get Off Me,” which is about why your child may be extra clingy right now, and what to do about it.

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For pregnant women and new moms, Pooja Lakshmin, M.D., a perinatal psychiatrist and frequent NYT Parenting contributor, is sounding the alarm about a possible increase in postpartum mood and anxiety disorders exacerbated by stress during the pandemic.

We have a beautiful and searing essay from Imani Bashir, who has chosen to live abroad with her family because she wants to keep her black son safe from violence. “I was willing to try anything to escape becoming another hashtag,” she writes.

Finally, we have two pieces about kids and safety. One stresses keeping children’s ears healthy with all the headphone use that’s likely going on right now, and the other is a guide to making sure your home is safety-proofed this summer.

Pride starts next week. We want to hear how families are celebrating at home, whether it’s reading a special book together or having a car parade on your block. Drop us a line here, and we may feature your story in an upcoming article.

Thanks for reading!

— Jessica Grose, lead editor, NYT Parenting

P.S. Today’s One Thing comes from Shao Zhi Zhong, mom to a 2 1/2-year-old in Philadelphia. Plastic cups have kept her daughter entertained: Zhong’s toddler builds pyramids out of them and crashes her toys into the structure, or puts them on her hands and pretends she’s a dinosaur.

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P.P.S. Our friends in Styles want to know: How has being in quarantine with others affected your relationships? What are you learning about your housemates or yourself? The deadline to submit responses is May 31 at 11:59 p.m. E.T.

THIS WEEK IN NYT PARENTING

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Tiny Victories

Parenting can be a grind. Let’s celebrate the tiny victories.
My two toddlers hate putting on sunscreen, so I put some sunscreen in a bowl, gave them two brushes and told them to face paint each other. Sunscreen done. — Jessica Chan, Los Angeles

If you want a chance to get your Tiny Victory published, find us on Instagram @NYTparenting and use the hashtag #tinyvictories; email us; or enter your Tiny Victory at the bottom of this page. Include your full name and location. Tiny Victories may be edited for clarity and style. Your name, location and comments may be published, but your contact information will not. By submitting to us, you agree that you have read, understand and accept the Reader Submission Terms in relation to all of the content and other information you send to us.

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2020年5月29日 星期五

The Daily: The Voice That Steadied Alaska

Why we told the story of Genie Chance and the Great Alaska Earthquake.
Genie Chance, the “voice of Alaska.”Courtesy of Jan Blankenship

Last Friday’s episode told the story of Genie Chance, a radio reporter whose voice held together the state of Alaska in the panicked hours after an earthquake in Anchorage in 1964.

It was an unusual episode for us. The central event occurred half a century ago. But the parallels between that moment and this one felt unmistakable, a connection captured in the opening words of the book that inspired the episode, “This is Chance!”:

“There are moments when the world we take for granted instantaneously changes; when reality is abruptly upended and the unimaginable overwhelms real life. We don’t walk around thinking about that instability, but we know it’s always there: at random, and without warning, a kind of terrible magic can switch on and scramble our lives.”

A few weeks ago, I spoke with the book’s author — and the episode’s narrator — Jon Mooallem, about those parallels.

This conversation has been edited for clarity.

MICHAEL: It feels like that paragraph was very much written for this moment.
JON: Yeah, except it wasn’t. It was written three or four years ago. I’ve been working on this book for six years. But I agree it’s strange that it’s coming into the world right now.
MICHAEL: Tell me about how this story, the story that’s at the center of that paragraph, and how it first came to you.
JON: Well, I guess it was in 2003. I was traveling with a friend of mine through the redwoods in California. And we were in a town called Crescent City, which is right at the Oregon-California border.
We were having breakfast at this diner in town, and all around the restaurant were historical photographs, black and white photographs of the town just destroyed, you know, wreckage of buildings. There had been a tsunami there. And while we were looking at these photographs, a waitress at the diner – this older woman, almost like something out of a movie – walked by. She must have seen us looking at the pictures, and without saying a word, she slid this old book across the table at us and just walked on.
The book was an oral history of this tsunami in 1964, people’s accounts and photographs of how the town was more or less obliterated, and how they came together to help each other out of that disaster. And I was riveted by that. There was something that was really moving and peculiar to me about a small town facing a challenge like that. But I just tucked it away in my mind as something that one day I might like to learn more about.
I guess I was out of story ideas at some point and was sitting at my kitchen table and finally just Googled it. Turns out that the tsunami was an effect of this enormous earthquake that had happened in Alaska. It’s called the Great Alaska Earthquake, which I had never heard of before.
MICHAEL: I have to be honest, I’ve never heard about it either, which is a little embarrassing. I mean, the idea that there was a massive earthquake in the United States, it’s kind of not present in our heads.
JON: Yeah. I felt the same way. I felt embarrassed. And I also felt very sad. I think there was something that felt tragic and a little bit destabilizing to me, that something so dramatic could have happened and I had no idea that it even occurred.
Small-business owners worked to salvage what was left of their stores in the aftermath of the earthquake.Associated Press

As Jon began researching the earthquake, he came across Genie’s name. Genie had died in 1998, but he was able to get in touch with her daughter, Jan. For the next several years, Jon sifted through the dusty archives of Genie’s life and career, which were packaged into 38 boxes, mostly untouched in an Alaskan basement. There were diaries, letters, photographs and recordings – lots of recordings. Those records, combined with years of reporting, became the basis for John’s book, “This is Chance!”

Senior producer Annie Brown read the book and fell in love with it. So did editor Wendy Dorr. “It felt soothing and comforting, and relatable,” Wendy recalled. “We knew we had to make something.”

Senior producer Austin Mitchell listened through the original recordings of Genie from 1964 and agreed. “The radio tape in particular was transporting,” Austin said. “It was amazing, nearly 60 years later, to feel plopped right next to Genie in Anchorage’s public safety building, as Alaska scrambled to understand what had happened.”

Talk to Michael on Twitter: @mikiebarb.

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A note on arpeggios

This Saturday on The Daily, we’re sharing the seventh episode of Rabbit Hole, our series that explores what the internet is doing to us. Producer Julia Longoria explains the story behind one of the show’s musical motifs:

At 3:30 a.m. on July 18, 2015, Caleb Cain went searching for a moonlight sonata. For thirty minutes that morning, his YouTube history, a long list of videos discussing extreme ideas, was interrupted by Beethoven and “The Best of Debussy.”

When we set out to make an audio series about the internet, my job was to find the tape that could tell the story of Caleb’s radicalization. I naively thought this would be easy. But with 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, finding the emotionally resonant moments — in the form of a 15-second clip, the atomic unit of our work — is like finding a needle in a haystack.

The task transformed me into a detective. For months, I watched the YouTube videos that Caleb watched, one by one, in order. I held a magnifying glass up to his Stefan Molyneux and Joe Rogan binges in an effort to connect the dots of his path to extremism.

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On one particularly bleary-eyed night, I came across the half-hour he spent searching for classical music. Listening to the piano arpeggios of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” I felt tenderness for this very lonely and very lost young man. You can hear this tiny, humanizing moment in Episode Two: Looking Down.

Now, nearing the end of our series, those piano arpeggios have resurfaced. While reporting on QAnon, and spending hours in the group’s (sometimes very uneventful) 24/7 video chat rooms, I noticed something about Q believers. When they were streaming late at night and finally decided to go to bed, they’d say goodnight to each other. Sometimes they even added an “I love you.” Watching this group turn to the internet for comfort, in the middle of the night, I thought of Caleb — and of “Clair de Lune.”

Follow Julia on Twitter: @hooliwho.

On The Daily this week

Tuesday: Their last wish was to be buried at home in Mexico. Annie Correal explains how one family is fighting two governments and a pandemic to make that sacred rite happen.

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Wednesday: The U.S. Postal Service has survived the telegraph, the fax machine and the dawn of the internet. We speak to Nicholas Fandos and one Postal Service worker in North Carolina about whether it will survive coronavirus.

Thursday: NASA is now a customer of a private company responsible for launching astronauts into space. We asked Kenneth Chang what the rise of SpaceX means for human exploration of the solar system.

Friday: A dictionary collector. A Disney animator. A disco dancer. They are just a few of the more than 100,000 lives lost to the coronavirus in the U.S.

That’s it for The Daily newsletter. See you next week.

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