Correction to This Article
In early editions of the June 10 Style section, one of the Life Is Short items had incorrect first names for two people. The writer's name is Soren Johnson, and his daughter's friend is named Sanai.
LIFE IS SHORT | Autobiography as Haiku

LIFE IS SHORT | Autobiography as Haiku

( Rebecca D'Angelo For The Washington Post)
Sunday, June 10, 2007

"My son asked his first 'who' question yesterday!" I proudly beamed.

"My son's been able to ask 'who' for a couple of months. We're working on 'why,' " a father replied.

"Well, we've had 'who' and 'why' for about a year," another mother chimed in. "We're working on 'how.' "

The exchange leaves me deflated, but hopeful. I recall having similar conversations when my oldest child was a toddler. But nobody here is bragging. In this play group, the children are nearly 5 and on the autistic spectrum. We are all thankful that our kids have learned to ask anything.

Marla Levenstein


"Aren't you going to ask me about school?" my 4-year old daughter asks as I go to turn off her light. I stay. Details surge -- hands trace the shape of her teacher's earrings. Today on the playground, she was one of the three pigs with Faith and Sanai -- Porter was the big bad wolf. "He didn't eat us." Her eyes play on the ceiling as if the record of her day is written there. More detail. "Chicken nuggets. And I didn't finish my milk." Our lives are like this: so much of beauty still left in the fields at night, the gleaners weary.

Soren Johnson

(Rebecca D'Angelo - For The Washington Post)

Find a way to give insight into your life in under 100 words. Authors of selected entries will be notified and paid $100. Send text (accompanied by a home phone number) via e-mail (, fax (202-334-5587) or mail (Style, Life Is Short, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071). Only entries from The Post's immediate circulation area can be considered at this time.

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