Thursday, February 3, 2011


back in june 2010,

brooke and i

took maddy to the

santa monica pier for

a day of fun.

it didn't start

off too well

because madeline's

forehead took a direct

hit when a pigeon

flew over her.

direct hit from a seagull.

damn birds.

getting cleaned up.

almost clean.

(she was calm throughout, and didn't seem to mind, unlike brooke and me).

so why am

i bringing this

up today?

well, because maddy did.

last week.

on the way

to daycare.

7 months after

it happened...

"daddy, what's that on the window?"

she said, pointing

at the big

spot on my windshield.

"that's bird poop, maddy."

(she laughed pretty hard when she heard me say poop)

but then she

got serious.

very serious.

"daddy, i need to wear a hat so that birds don't poop on me in santa monica, okay?"


now, i've maybe

mentioned this once

or twice since the

day it happened,

and i wasn't even

talking to her...

i haven't

mentioned in at

least 5 months

and i never mention

the santa monica part.

but she remembers

that a

bird shit on

her and that

it happened in

santa monica.

i had no

idea that a

forehead covered in

pigeon shit would

make such a

big impression on her.

but i guess

i'll never forget about

the time a

pigeon shit on

me when i was

in the

jardin de luxembourg

in paris in 1999.

the big difference?

i was 21

when it happened

to me.

she was a few

months past 2

when it happened

to her.


i spend a

lot of time worrying

about how

her memories will

shape her, but

i take heart in

knowing that

her first memory

will not be

about the day

her mom died.


and i find it

rather amazing

how perspective

can transform a bunch

of bird shit on the

forehead into a

happy memory.


  1. I'm sorry for your loss and am trying to grasp the meaning of this post. I don't want to offend, but I think posting pictures of a two year old who has been defecated on is inappropriate to say the least. Privacy and dignity are important. Sorry, but this is in poor taste.

  2. I think Matt is talking about how smart and sensitive his daughter is, and how thankful he is to have her in his life. Not everything has to be clearly spelled out. I think that it's extremely inappropriate for you to judge his post.

  3. Matt definitely has a different writing style and perspective on life and widowhood. That's why I love him. Is he inappropriate? Of course, he'd probably be the first to admit so. Was this story inappropriate? Not in his eyes and definitely not in mine. Love it, Matt.

  4. Matt. I love your writing style! I think the most beautiful thought in this post is that a child's spirit is so free and that Maddy's first memory will not be her mother's death.

  5. Chances are really good that if you have to start a comment with, "I don't want to offend..." you're going to offend.

    I loved this post and when Maddy is older there will be much laughter about the time in Santa Monica when the pigeon pooped on her head, which hopefully will result in a discussion with lots of happy and funny memories of her mom.