Thanks time

Sep 20, 2002

It’s just me and Anna this weekend, with Erin in Cleveland for a wedding shower for her sister, Mary. (Mary’s wedding next month will mark the last of the Shaughnessy children matrimonies. Should be a fun event.) Anna’s been asleep for a few hours, and I’ve been at my desk learning statistics and media law and medical journalism. In the silence of the apartment and to the tune of WUNC’s Back Porch Music, I’ve been thinking about how thankful I am to be a student at a fine educational institution. With my generous Park Fellowship, I’m able to attend challenging classes and brush backpack straps with other talented students. This afternoon my e-mail inbox (I use Microsoft Outlook) has been active with an ongoing discussion about what makes a community and how communities use technology to communicate. Earlier this week a communications professor delivered a blistering indictment of mass media for its supposed return to pre 9/11 shenanigans. In a few weeks I’ll get to meet veteran newsman Marvin Kalb. I am lucky.

And this has got me to thinking back on the last year, and how fortunate I was to spend so much time with Anna as her stay-at-home father. These days I get only a handful of waking hours with her each week (I’m at home most afternoons while she takes her long naps). Last year I was with her all the time. Full-time parenting was difficult, but rewarding. Thinking back, I remember the panic: Anna rolling off the bed, gagging on a leaf, choking on a paperclip. But I also relish the memories of her smiles and sounds and silent glances into my eyes. She is an adorable child, and I love her.

Erin and I have a tradition in our home. When we have friends and family gather at our dinner table for a meal, we ask everyone to tell the group what he or she is thankful for. This is our form of prayer, thanksgiving everyday. Today, I’m thankful for my school, for my daughter, and for my wife, who stood before the Zuiker and Shaughnessy families and said ”Yes.”

Anton Zuiker

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