Sarah Jane Doe

Category Archives: Family

Every little beetle

Mother and daughter

My baby book is a masterpiece of 70s tripped-out-shepherdess charm, filled in with my mother’s neat, best-behaviour script and made triumphant by the kind of trophy a fairy might take: a Scotch-taped lock of my first straight, golden hair. It also contains a curious inscription from my Dad, a then 26 year-old father-to-be. It’s an old Arab proverb. His mother was Syrian, but it didn’t come from her. Where he found it in 1978 in a small, rural Australian town before the internet I’m not really sure, but in his familiar, left-handed letters reads this dedication before my birth – ‘Every little beetle is a gazelle in its mother’s eyes.’

My daughter will continue the tradition my parents started and be the second little girl in our family conceived (and discovered) accidentally on an extended international adventure, born to a determined young mother and a shocked University student father. The ensuing drama of my turn at this scenario has made me consider that perhaps Dad’s inscription was a personal prayer. After all, there wasn’t much you could possibly know about your little beetle back then, apart from the fact it was very definitely on its way.

In contrast, my 2013 belly is a glass-bottomed boat to doctors – my baby’s fingers and toes were counted at 12 weeks, her probable gender and reassuring normality confirmed at 20 weeks. If you ask me what my beetle is like I can already boast about the excellence of the brand new four-chambered heart she grew, which is as big as my pinkie nail and pumps blood in and out in very fast, happy little snorts.  She has a lovely straight spine. Its resemblance to a large anchovy is purely circumstantial.  Her ears, like her fingernails, are perfect (and exquisitely, head-spinningly small). She has very fine feet for someone who weighs half a kilo, and I’m looking forward to telling her this one day and also to complimenting the lovely little lips I’ve just seen the doctor scrutinise for any sign of a cleft palate.

My Dad didn’t know any of this about me. I was just a mysterious, growing mound on his wife. How necessary then, to hope that every lowly little beetle will be somebody’s swift-footed gazelle, how important, the reassurance that someone will love us no matter how we emerge. Because no one really knows what’s coming yet. Like some of the other mothers-to-be at my hospital, I could fly to Hong Kong for some of the pre-natal tests that aren’t available here, but even then there’s still nothing to tell me with any certainty that my beetle might fail to flourish. And if they could, I wouldn’t want to hear it anymore. I’ve fallen hard. I’ve got three long months to go before I meet her, but something has taken over my brain as surely as toxoplasmosis makes an infected mouse wander stupefied until it finds the scent of feline excreta and follows it right to the jaws of a (presumably surprised) house cat.

Because my belief in her fine qualities is certainly not based on science. In fact, there is some evidence that my baby is not terribly bright (yet). She often becomes tangled in her umbilical cord and then executes furious, ungainly rolling manoeuvres to extricate herself that I imagine must look like those made by a dim-witted astronaut in a Gary Larsen cartoon.  She doesn’t think much of good coffee and throws a few half-hearted punches when I drink it (philistine). She lies in wait until I’m asleep and then tries clumsily to kick her way out (one does not simply walk into Mordor) and, according to my doctor, she prefers to sleep upside down like a little bat.

So none of what I know so far really adds up to gazelle, but the first time I felt her kick I became a non-cynical, wide-eyed true-believer in her greatness. In the perfection of a parasite as big as half a bag of flour, whose main occupation consists of covering itself in dead skin cells to keep warm and gaily sipping at its own urine. I grasped for words to explain the total transformation of my mind. ‘It’s like seeing a Unicorn,’ I said at the time, and it’s struck me since that I’d found the only creature less beetley than a gazelle to describe her.

I know I’m a fool in exactly the way zillions of other parents have been foolish, but I don’t care. And it’s made it easier to hang out with my mum on the days when it’s obvious she’s convinced that at 34 I still don’t know how to use NapiSan or do my hair properly, because I now know, with absolute certainty, that she once thought of me as the most wondrous creature ever to fall from the stars.  So next time your folks give you their disappointed face, remember that you undoubtedly came into this world as their Unicorngazelle and stand up straight to let the sun warm your beetle-shell back. No matter how much you screw up, you were once perfect. We all were. It’s a very nice thing to know for sure.

Bring your daughter to work day

sarahjanedoe and her Dad at work together

It started with a text from Dad. ‘In Singapore. At hotel shaped like boat. Come on over.’ I’m a sucker for two things: my Dad and themed hotels. Themed anything really. But mostly Dad.

I was reading this on a tiny island off the Indonesian coast. From a beach-shack breakfast with only the waves and some piratical island cats for company, Kelly and I caught a horse taxi that she accurately described as being disconcertingly like Santa’s sleigh into ‘town’, then a boat to the dock of Padang Bai on Bali, then a ‘transport’ to Ubud, checked into a room, walked the length of Ubud to eat at Taco Casa and Grill (best Mex ever), where I decided to give in to the growing idea to follow Kelly out of Bali (but not home to winter, no thanks) and onward to that boat shaped hotel. We checked out. We got another ‘transport’ to Denpasar. We ran around the airport trying to get me a ticket on the last flight out in a series of foolish escapades, stolen wifi, and sweaty trips between terminals which ended with a very strange but successful phone call to an office in Qatar (bless the Qataris for not believing in Sundays).

I arrived here in Singapore at 2 a.m. and met Dad at a hotel shaped less like a boat and more like a futuristic disaster movie of impossible proportions. It’s not a building so much as a giant, towering spectacle, styled like Gattaca meets Battlestar Galactica. My dirty feet with their Bali induced Haviana perma-tan were as out of place in the pristine lobby as I was, fumbling through wads of the smallest denominations of Indonesian rupiah and shaking half the sand of Gili Trawangan beach out of my hair. I met Dad with a hug and a high five for completing phase one of hi-jinks. As I made myself at home by stealing his Qantas First Class upgrade trophy (silk slippers) and donning a fluffy robe, I grew nostalgic.

‘It’s just like when we used to go to Tampa! Remember Tampa? We’d watch basic cable and drink no-brand ”hot tea”. Afterwards I’d put wet toilet paper in my ears to drown out your snoring. Then in the morning I’d drop you at work, borrow the Jeep and drive to Krispy Kreme. Get a dozen warm and an endless cup. Make fun of a copy of USA Today till lunchtime.’ I grew wistful. ‘Those were the days Dad’.

‘They sure were, Sweet.’

I don’t think Dad’s had a gig yet that I haven’t crashed. And he’s a water treatment engineer, so this means my happy snaps are often interspersed with pictures of giant pipes, bores, and odd shaped holes in the ground. Other people see waterfalls where I see hydro-electric schemes (water still falls down in a pleasing way). One year Dad went back to Uni and I crashed that too. It was Harvard. Well played, right? It allows me to say things like ‘When I was at Harvard Business School’ and be technically correct. I really take over, too, during the crashing, and Harvard was no exception. Did my laundry there. Ate all my meals at the dorm dining hall, went to the classes and tutorials where I opined about the case studies I’d watch Dad prepare the night before. Went drinking with his new friends. I even had his bed while he slept on a rolled out mat on the floor. ‘Night Dad.’ I’d call from above. ‘Do you reckon our homework is good for tomorrow? Dja do a good job?’

‘Yes, Sweet.’

I don’t really know how we got away with it. Most families are probably just too well-bred to try, and the Harvard post-grads were all too well-bred to call us on it.

Dad’s reward for this kind of regular intrusion is a partner in crime who shares a love of Asian food for breakfast as well as the same blend of curious dorkdom in all things. When we find a movie like Groundhog Day on in-room telly we settle in and sigh contentedly together without needing to seek approval or permission. At Harvard, we had to work hard to avoid culture and taste. It took us a good few days to locate a movie theatre showing Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, instead of art-house flicks and the latest in contemporary European cinema. The theatre turned out to be in a highly dubious neighbourhood and involved an on-foot expedition travelling the wrong way along the kerb of an unattractive freeway, a short climb down a rubbish strewn embankment in the rain, and some squeezing between a variety of chain link fences. Later, full of popcorn and with the mysterious curse of the were-rabbit finally solved, we didn’t have to check in to see if the other had found the experience worthwhile. It was obviously the best thing about our Harvard experience, and this was a school that served us poached wild-Atlantic-salmon fillets with potatoes au gratin for play-lunch.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of when Dad first took his daughter to work. It was in Alexandria, Egypt and I was four.  Armed with some small snacks inside the relatively new technology of a zip-lock bag, I set forth with optimism about my career as an engineer at my father’s side. We were out on the road together, under our own steam, stopping to inspect important things like Possibly Friendly Animals, and, once or twice, a man digging a ditch or measuring a length of agricultural pipe. Throughout the day, I was told that I was clever and interesting and very useful. Indispensible really.  It made quite the impression. That’s why I’m so pleased to be in Singapore navigating the room service menu and writing Dad notes on hotel stationary that read ‘KPIs for today include bacon.’ Really, I don’t know how the man manages to do his job without me*.

*Note: I’m not an engineer. Sadly, I don’t even like graph paper.

What a difference a day makes

sarahjanedoe and Kelly in Ubud

‘What a difference a day makes’. I wonder who said that first or if it’s just some ancient, amorphous truism? A sort of collective, hive-mind blendy? Because even back when life was cave and tundra, every day was different. People still woke up, broke up, got knocked up, knocked out, got high, felt low. Some days are dramatically different from the ones before. Car crashes. Windfalls. Breakages. Breakthroughs.

This past week I started writing a post titled ‘Today is the Greatest’. I was so busy having my Greatest day that the post didn’t get finished and, by the next day, things had swung unexpectedly toward the Worstest. Then whoa, back again.  Big week. I’m quite tired from all the difference a day makes (note the ‘from’ not ‘of’. Never ‘of’).

So it’s been a sadistic kind of treat to watch it happen to someone else, even if it’s my much adored sister-in-love, Kelly. She arrived a week ago from the middle of winter in the middle of the night to the middle of a new country and the middle of my health crisis. Probably not what she’d expected when reading about my sunny, happy, blissed-out life here in Ubud.

I reacted to my fast-improving health and the 100% increase in loved ones from home by attempting to have about four Greatest days in one. I met her at the airport with a cool-ass driver and an ice-cold beer (a tradition started by my brother for all new arrivals to the island of Bali), whizzed her to a luxury hotel, woke her about six hours later for breakfast at Sea Circus followed by sugar cane espresso cocktails on the beach at Ku De Ta and a ride in Tanky, the vintage Mexican VW, up the winding mountain road to Ubud. All before midday. Sounds great, right? Right. But I was still nauseous, she was jet-lagged and the rice paddies were all being burnt back so that a thick wet haze of stale smoke hung over everything.

I decided to fix this by applying a liberal dose of Yoga Barn in Ubud. As soon as Kelly fell from Tanky’s sweet, rattling embrace I marched her down Jalan Hanoman in search of inner-peace. This is the busiest street at the busiest time of the busiest part of tourist season (turns out I Rumpelstiltskined myself during the whole amoebic dysentery thing. I woke up to find it was school holidays in Australia and the whole of that island had moved to this one, en masse. I even ran in to the girl who serves me at my local bakery, Dench. She recognised me right away – apparently my North Fitzroy hangovers look sama-sama to my almostdiedovers. Classy.) and, ergo, it was pretty busy.

Whole chunks of footpath on Jalan Hanoman are missing, with drops ranging from mere ankle-breakers to lose-your-relatives in pungent, watery depths of tropical mystery-mess. You need to dodge dogs, their poo, their chicken friends, and the motorbikes they chase, as well as looking out for various things – corners of signs, burning sticks of incense, odd bits of temple – waiting for the chance to take a chunk of scalp or nick an eyeball.

After twenty minutes of this, walking single file with me shouting out commands to enjoy oneself and see how amazing everything is in Ubud, a querulous little voice behind me asked ‘So, ah, you find this relaxing?’. I was surprised to admit to myself that I did, or at least I had up ’till now. I’d re-set. Forgotten my initial fears of death and dismemberment on Jalan Hanoman and couldn’t see it as anything other than the Happy Path To Yoga Barn. How could I help Kelly to feel this too? I shouted at her some more and forced her full of treats and yoga. By bedtime, I’d run out of ideas (and my throat was sore).

The next day, I came upon Kelly in a sunny, quiet little street in a cafe she’d found her way back to by herself. She was curled up in an egg-shaped rattan chair with a giant Murakami book balanced on a cushion and a large beer perspiring gently on the table in front of her. She looked up at me from a post-yoga puddle of limber limbs, smiled like the sun, and announced she intended to order cake. I couldn’t resist asking if she ‘found this relaxing’. What a difference a day makes*.

*Note: I’m certain this will become the title of a terrible movie about the power of positive psychology and the endless randomness of Western-asshat life, probably starring Tom Hanks with some small earnest child coming-to-a-plane-near-you, so before it does, let’s get it out a bit more. It feels truthy and important.

 

 

Throwing up is hard to do

Fresh ginger and Leatherman multi-tool

See this picture? Yeah. Two days in to some nau-sea-sickness, I took this picture to document my beautiful, natural Ubudian recovery. I had fallen, sure, but I was on the mend. At that stage I liked to think the fall had been a controlled descent. I did my best to lie down gracefully with my feet elevated after throwing up my bright green salad lunch and a double-cold-pressed-cashew-milk-coffee in Alchemy, wherein my super-cool author lady luncheon companion Sarah did me the supreme honour of turning promptly from willowy, hilarious glamourati into level-headed-mother-of-young-child-used-to-dealing-with-vom, and arranged an immediate and graceful evactuation of the premises.

I went home and vomited a lot more. I’m not a vomiter. It’s hard for me. Takes a long time. I spend hours adrift on the Sea of Nau before the main event. A day passed. I began to get extremely thirsty. My lips chapped. Every swallow of water made the sly promise of staying down only to collect into enough volume for a high-velocity torrent a few hours later. I took the anti-emetic Stemetil that I had wisely packed for a tropical excursion (despite only having suffered ‘traveller’s sickness’ three times in fifteen years and countless trips overseas) and threw those up too, until none remained. Thirstier and thirstier, I looked at the rattan ceiling and composed impassioned correspondence to the manufacturers of Stemetil suggesting fundamental changes in their delivery method. Topical lotions, single-use-syringes, fast dissolving wafers. Eye-drops. Lip-balm.

At the point where my eyes had begun to shrink into their sockets and my pee was clinking into the bowl as crystals of uric acid, I summoned the fortitude to look at my swimming computer screen and Google ‘how keep watr dwn f ur dyin’ and the wisdom of the internet responded with ‘small spoonfuls water’. The internet also delivered a truly terrible story of two Canadian sisters who had just died in their hotel room in Thailand and – because I catastrophise, especially when ill – I went down a black, black hole of what-ifs that only ended once I remembered I had repatriation insurance so at least my pale little body wouldn’t cost anyone money to ship it home.

Then I cried. Well, I tried too, but I had no water for tears. The internet said this phenomenon is followed shortly by death. I screamed (whimpered) for my housekeeper Nyoman, who came in tut-tuting with a flask of boiling water and some ginger and rosella tea. He changed my sheets and cleaned my bathroom with surgical attention, and sent my clothes off to the Ubud Eco laundry, because y’all might remember from previous posts about my first world problems that the toxic-avenger smells of the detergents they use in Indonesia make me gag even on a strong stomach.

I started to feel better. Determined to Definitely Not Be Ill Like Losers Who Aren’t Real Travellers And Such, I took myself on a small quivering excursion to Bali Buddha, where I bought some organic ginger. Once home, I remembered I’d packed my favourite multi-tool, the Leatherman aka ‘Leathery’, and peeled the ginger and took this smug picture of my clever, natural, grown-up approach to wellness and self-sufficiency.

At about 3 a.m. (nothing good ever, ever happens at 3 a.m. unless you are on your honeymoon) I had a seizure. Before I could think what to do next, I had another one. As it subsided, I realised my body was so indescribably freezing that I needed to get extra blankets, jeans, my leather jacket – possibly lie under the mattress itself – all things which were not possible because my limbs were now suffering intermittent spasms like the aftershocks of a powerful earthquake that I had no option but to ride out in cold, dark terror. I thought about the Canadian girls and I thought about my family and I thought about how nothing like this had happened to me before and I thought about how human I was and how small I was and I called for my Mum in my head and I said the Boy’s name aloud to prove I was real and then I passed out.

Was this overly dramatic? Hilarious in hindsight? I’m not so sure. I don’t think I know where the edge is with illness anymore. I do know I woke up. A day later. On my back. In a watery gruel of feces. Cheeks plastered with vomit that I was very lucky not to aspirate. The pain in my muscles and bones was like nothing I’ve imagined in the realm of natural illness. I was surprised they could bear my now 52 kilo frame. This, along with the sudden plummet of core temperature, spelled dengue ‘bone-break’ fever to the admitting hospital, but no rash developed so they didn’t test for it. There’s a current outbreak and the only treatment is ‘fluids’ anyway. They sent me home.

I got worse. I went back. They tested my blood for bacteria. They tested my poo by handing me a pair of disposable gloves and a plastic jar and asking me to ‘shit in my hand’ and wipe it in the container. The toilet was dirty, the walls were peeling. They offered to hospitalise me and I responded the best way I knew how. I threw up on their floor and went home again. On the way home I checked my phone and the picture of the ginger and knife flashed up. It looked like my intestines and what was happening to them. It became totemic of my failure and misery. It made me throw up to look at. It made me throw up every time I thought about it. I tried to delete it and failed at even that.

Over the next five days lots of people helped me. I emailed the test results to my two mates who happen to be a boyfriend/girlfriend trainee-doctor-duo who tag-teamed a long distance diagnoses and prescribed the magical tummy-bomb Flagyl that worked overnight. Despite enduring non-stop nausea of the kind documented by my pregnant friends that made me swear with every wobbly breath that I’d never allow myself to get knocked up, the fact that one of these doctor friends is going to be a pediatrician also made me swear to have children just so they can get sick and I can take them to her.

The Boy called my sister-in-love, who went straight from handing in her final essays for her postgrad on-something-too-complex-for-me-to-understand to a medical center, where she talked a doctor into the codeine and Stemetil not available in this country. She got on a plane with them and arrived expecting to nurse me instead of hang by the pool in matching bikinis as planned, without so much as a shrug. Every member of my family who knew, every friend at home, every new friend in Ubud – all of them flooded my online areas with goodwill and love. Thanks all. Thanks and thanks and thanks.

And sorry I didn’t respond. It’s just that throwing up is hard to do.

 

Sibling revelry

sarahjanedoe and brother

I don’t know too many people who didn’t hate their sibling. Hate them with the kind of deliberate intensity of a chemical burn. Who didn’t dream fondly of their sibling’s annihilation, preferably under circumstances in which the remaining child could be cast as some kind of brave, forlorn hero, treated to a sympathetic over-supply of ice-cream by misty-eyed adults who might also forget about maths homework for awhile. This is perfectly natural. Honestly, what kind of idiot would stand for the peculiar torture of having a pre-verbal arranged-marriage foisted upon them? And not just any arranged marriage, but a kind of polygamist, fundamentalist LDS culty mash-up in which you are forced to love this stranger in the same household with the actual Biggest Love of Your Life? (Yes, that’s Mum or Dad, but you’re young, you don’t get out much).

So who could blame you for fixing a laser-gaze on this little love rival and trying to straighten out the requirement – to feign undying devotion to your beloved’s younger mistress? Seriously? Or to their bogan, layabout bit on the side? And not just love this person, but share all your meagre possessions with them; your friends, your lolly-stash, your treasured pets, perhaps even your own goddamned bed? You are encouraged to swear oaths of protection to them, to present them with humiliating gifts chosen by your true love on your behalf at the certain times of year when these odious pricks are feted, and to spend more time with them – these usurpers, these rat bastards – than anyone else you might choose to know. Love them? You’d have to be particularly stupid to accept this preposterous attempt at physcological reprogramming. But you aren’t stupid. You’re in love with their protector – and that’s all that’s standing between them and a good drowning.

So what to do? You learn fast that resistance is futile. Reports of various outrages, lies, hurts and wrongdoings are never met with justice only punishment to your own person for ‘dobbing’. The whole situation is Orwellian in its operational language, Stalinist in its acts of bleak suppression and Dancing With The Starist in its hopeless duration.  Other – wiser – mammals know this. When the one-too-many polar bear cub turns from runt to popsicle his siblings don’t wail with grief. They don’t even look backwards as they head off down the tundra behind Mum with some added spring in their fluffy little footfalls. In the battle for the love and resources of a parent, they know the bleeding obvious – that less is more.

Did I hate my brother? I can’t remember it, but I must have. Why? Because I was a clever child and adored both my parents. Added to that he had already committed the twin sins of being both younger (therefore severely developmentally delayed to my reading of the situation) and a boy. You know, a boy? Has a weird, rude hose for a front bottom? Likes dumb toys? No dresses of his own? That kind of shit. Love this creature? The best you can hope for in these situations is probably what we achieved. A kind of passive-aggressive emotional cocktail of Stockholm Syndrome blended with a highly dysfunctional workplace relationship. It’s not exactly a nurturing foundation, but it’ll prevent someone from getting shot.

My sibling developed type 1 diabetes when he was four. This disease has all kinds of implications, but the only parts of meaningful concern to a child is that they are going to have to deal with the single most hideous scourge of the youngster – needles, injections, syringes – on a twice daily basis (this kind of horror has no adult equivalent, I’m not even going to reach for one), as well as the absolute denial of what for children is the direct adult equivalent of the best top-shelf porn, booze, cocaine, live music and hot sex experience you’ll ever have rolled into one neon-pulsing kernel of desire – candy. Gone overnight. Verboten. The Dutch have an expression which translates roughly to ‘the devil always shits in the same pile’ and I’d say the evidence in the case of infant acquired diabetes bears it out. Punished enough for me, do you think? My love rival? Was the usurper fittingly crushed? Nay, the tale darkens.

With anything he might ever actually want to snack on off the menu entirely, from cake or grilled cheese to a bag of lollies or a humble breakfast pancake at McDonalds, treats for my brother were now pretty much restricted to pickles.  Yup. Pickled cucumbers. Zero calories yet naughtily salty with a somewhat exciting crunch. Here you are, poor bruised, pale pin-cushion of a darling boy, eat as many pickles as you like! There’s more where that came from! And tiny soldier that he was, my brother even learned to like them. Hell, even I like pickles. Love them in fact. But did that stop me from using my two and a half year head start in linguistics and court politics to turn his one safe snack into a source of derision and contempt? Did it prevent me from carefully scribing the crude missive ‘Pikel Breth’ and pinning it to his door so that yea, all men who pass this house shall know that he who inhabits it is unclean and has the odour of dill and brine upon his toddler-sized tongue? No. No it did not. I did this thing and many others that, with the help of wine and sedatives I can’t remember, because he was my sibling and so I had no choice.

And now? Well, sonny, pull up a chair. Funny thing happened on the way to adulthood. We became adults. And an adult, if you’re lucky (and if you didn’t kill them before you knew they’d be so useful), can have no greater, longer, truer love in life than their sibling. The day came many years ago when I hailed Pikel Breth and kneeled before his mightiness. When I raised a glass to this superior human being and was struck dumb by the realisation that I had once shared a womb with such an utterly magnificent person, and  it was as magical a moment as finding out that David Attenborough, Johnny Depp, Bill Bryson and Ira Glass all put you as number one on their ‘people you’d most like to get stuck next to on a plane ‘  list.  (Note: this did not happen, but thanks to earning  the love of my brother, I know what it would feel like).

Because it’s when shit goes truly, terribly wrong and you realise you’re dialling your own personal Pikel Breth first – despite the resources of say, two amazing parents, a trusted step-parent, some highly skilled BFFs and one incredible super-lover such as the Boy – that no one else on your version of Earth can handle that kind of call without some kind of damage or blowback to themselves. Some kind of judgement. Some kind of this-will-haunt-you-forever, some kind of ‘where did I/we go wrong? What could we have done? What should I have noticed? Did I do this? How can I fix this into the future? Is it me? Is it us?’ devolving into a Joss Whedon ‘Where do we go from here?’ Buffy medly.

Your sibling – ironically after being told they’re responsible for you for their entire childhood – understands they aren’t fucking responsible for you. They alone have this version of love for you. They continue to love you with that same perfect, molecular certainty that used to be hatred.   If you screwed up, if you want to die, if you caused someone else to screw up or want to die – hey, they get it, they love you, they’ll fix it, but they know they didn’t make it. And that these calls will probably keep coming for the rest of their lives. So they’ll deal with it and roll over. Call you next week to ask for a recipe or how to best remove cat poo from something odd. Your adult sibling is just like the Ghostbusters, yes, all of them, rolled into one. They understand that ghosts are just…there. Needing containment. Slime eradication. Possibly a secure vault. Whatever, but the Ghostbusters aren’t losing sleep on how the ghosts got in or what this might mean.  They’re just here to help. Why? Because it’s what they do. They were made for it.  Turns out so were you.

And so if my fellow cub should falter and slow in the snow, I’d hunker down beside him and wait to freeze too. No hesitation*.

 

*I should point out that I just flew him to Bali to hang out with me instead – it’s less noble but also much warmer.