Some context: Back in March 2021, I crossed paths with a woman who sat on the curb and let my dog, who was then a puppy no longer than my forearm, flail with joy all over her lap. Unprompted, In the middle of a ten-minute conversation, she told me I should be a writer. "I am a writer!" I said. She told me to write to my children. So, on occasion, I write letters to my daughters and publish them here.

To Mabel:

We went mountain biking to a new place, on a new route, down new roads. The eleven o’clock sun already desaturating the blacktop. We surfed curb cuts and swerved around the yellow-flowered warnings of sprawling goatheads. We crossed a major arterial without hitting the button. We counted the ground squirrels that intersected the bike path, always from left to right, as though they could only find safety in the north. All along the way, over the sound of the wind and the tires and the traffic, you kept shouting, “I’ve never been here before!” Yes. That’s what I said each time. Yes. What I meant was: You figured it out already. It's not about exploring, it’s not about bravery or a destination, but rather that you have gone to an unrecognizable place and still recognize yourself.