Have just returned from a lovely family vacation to the beach, via a packed-to-the-gills minivan rocking a turtle top. Lots of togetherness. Lots of sand. And lots of tears from Mr. James every time I walked out of the room. The most heartwrenching episode occurred the night we left him with his Granny up on the balcony to take a ten-minute walk on the beach; we could hear him screaming bloody murder even above the crashing of black waves and the roar of traffic on Coastal Highway. When we walked back in, he reached out his arms for me and, red and bleary and covered in snot, smiled.

I have come to believe that Jimmy is screaming for me, at least lately, not out of some overwhelming needy love but rather simply because he is hungry. Last night, he ate a remarkable seven times between his 5 p.m. school pick-up and 1 a.m., when he finally fell asleep for the night. As 5 p.m. approaches again, I am preparing myself for another long night pinned in a chair by a ravenous (and luckily still toothless) suckerfish.

My late bedtime transpired into an inordinate proportion of today being spent spacing out on Internet news, and it seems to me that some remarkable scientific developments have come to the foreground in the past day or so. First, they think they’ve found a way to activate the endurance gene, which has the potential to make svelteness a human standard — without the need for abhorrent exercise. If it weren’t for the fact that they’ll have to inject something into your brain that literally alters your genetic patterns, I’d be signing up for the clinical trials. Also, they discovered a crazy new pot-bellied dinosaur while excavating in Utah, are finding evidence linking nitrites in processed meats to Alzheimer’s, and have made amazing progress in the development of an actual cloak of invisibility.

All this, and Walmart has the front of their store stocked with school supplies already. Utter insanity.