a reader asked me recently, how do you do it? how do i care for a significantly disabled child with all the burdens, including a chronic condition? in response, i cited the brutal years of extreme competitive swimming and how it steeled me. i cited my strict father's wicked work ethic which i inherited. i told her how much i adore my impossible son. i considered how much i love a challenge. i thought about my supportive spouse. then I reflected on mindfulness as both meditation and distraction. like focusing on the way this morning's layers of sleet felt as if i were trudging through coarse kosher salt or sand at the beach. how the sleet sounded and felt when it hit my jacket and cheeks. how the birds in the trees seem to be announcing spring. how being the only human in the trails and on the road can feel both liberating and lonesome. how the trees have a tinge of silver as ice clings to their limbs and needles. how their branches sag under the weight of it all as if in solidarity with me. how still pools of water reflect the surrounding world, sometimes with heightened clarity. how luxurious it feels to have my son linger in my lap peacefully, even though he's ailing. how all these seemingly insignificant things, plus gratitude—for family, friends, kindly strangers, good fortune as well as struggle, the ability to write for myself and for avid, compassionate readers—can make riches out of misery.