An Interview With Zenobia Barlow
Many children who weren’t excelling in the classroom have suddenly become academic superstars, because they have aptitudes — kinesthetic, spatial, musical, interpersonal — that tend to emerge more successfully outside the classroom. When you give kids rich and varied contexts, they rise to a level of excellence you might not have anticipated.
While they visited, that invisible beast Loneliness would shift on his paws and pad quietly out of the room, only to return faithfully when darkness fell and I crawled into a bed that was too big. Lucky for me, the kids always stayed as long as possible. Norah, especially, hated to leave. She’d cling to my hand or my neck with the ferocity of the early-abandoned.
In Henry I’d met a man with no sense of proprietorship in the presence of true words. In one sense I’d been, as I said, a mere parrot, but in another sense I’d plucked Henry’s insight off the radio and taken it to heart. Henry honored this second capture as the solo philosophical event it was. He was loving a neighbor’s insight as one loves one’s own. He was being a father whose nondogmatic stance let grace flow in an adoptive son.