Where was his mother during all of this? While Alex and his father sunk their Merrells in the mud on schoolday afternoons, where was she? Insulated in an Anchorage hospital, tucked between blankets warmed in machines. There were tests to be run, so she had to lie quite still and read many magazines (usually those with celebrities and their babies on the cover, slathered in foundation and lipgloss) and wait for doctors to knock softly on her door. She might be fine, and she might not. Either way this was her break of sorts, and she allowed her legs to scooch under the warmed blankets, her knees poking up towards the room’s drop ceiling.