字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 In August, our son, Harrison, celebrated his third birthday. He is our second child. And yet, we have never parented a 3-year-old before. Because Harrison has an older sister who never turned 3. An older sister he'll never meet. Four years ago, my daughter, Greta, was sitting on a bench on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her grandmother when a brick fell from an eighth-story window sill and hit her in the head. She never regained consciousness. She was 2. When Harrison was born 15 months later, I became a father to both a living child and a spirit. One child on this side of the curtain, and another whispering from beneath it. Greta became our reference point for Harrison's every move. We compared their sleep habits, their behavior on the playground, their first words, and their first tantrums. We loved how they were different from each other and how they were similar. But only until Harrison was 2. Now that he's 3, we're in uncharted territory. It is a bittersweet thing watching him reach milestones that Greta didn't. Potty training took on the momentous feeling of an unknown country. His sister never got that far. Sometimes, watching Harrison grow, I'm reminded of how little we'll ever get to know about Greta. Harrison's personality is a public fact. He smiles wider and cries louder than any other child in the neighborhood. But Greta's own tendencies and quirks remain only in her parent's memories. Once, she was a person imposing her will on the world. Now she is our lonely private fact. When Harrison was a baby, we would tell him little things about Greta. Greta loved bananas, too. Greta was a real pain about sleep. But he is older now, and I'm more reluctant to say her name when he is around. It's not Greta's life I want to keep secret, but how she died. A brick destroyed my first child. And now, I have to deliver the knowledge of that brick to my second. It will teach him lessons I don't want him to learn. So I stall for time, bargaining. My superstitions about Greta's accident have died down. I don't cross the street anymore to avoid passing under construction sites with him. And the first time Harrison smacked his face on the jungle gym, filling his mouth with blood, I stayed calm. When he reached for me, screaming, he saw no fear in my eyes. Recently, he pointed to a picture of Greta on the refrigerator. That's Harrison, he said. That's Greta, buddy, I said, correcting him gently. That moment reminded me that someday, before long, my wife and I will have to sit down and explain to him that he has a sister and why she's not here. So I hold my breath and wait for the question. Sometimes, we dread it. Sometimes, we yearn for it. But we are on his timetable. Greta lives inside of Harrison somewhere, murky and luminescent. He knows she was a person, and that she's not here, but that we love her very much. And for now, that's enough.