This is my daughter’s skull. The soft spot babies have when they’re born isn’t supposed to be that big.

“Do you want a boy or girl this time?” It didn’t matter who asked. I’d always answer the same. “Healthy.”

I met the daughter I prayed for on April 20, 2020. Mara got her father’s looks and more. Notably, a gene mutation that led to Saethre-Chotzen Syndrome and craniosynostosis.

Here’s what that means: The bones in her skull fused before birth, and her brain needs more room to grow. Now, surgeons need to cut open the front of her head, remove a piece of her skull, reshape it, and put it back together.

On Nov. 3, my wife and I…


It’s been a decade since I graduated from the University of Dayton.

I spent the past weekend at my 10-year college reunion.

Friday evening, I ran into a familiar face in an elevator. He thanked me for an article I wrote for the college newspaper. I couldn’t even recall the guy’s last name, let alone the story he was talking about. I didn’t admit it.

“Oh, wow,” I said. “I can’t believe you still remember that.”

Over the next 30 or so hours, three more people thanked me for covering them back at college. I remembered their stories. Details stored in my memory the past decade came back to me as we’d…


People who know me well know I get more excited for the Super Bowl than I do for Christmas.

Will Hanlon

Husband. Dad. Fan of writing, baseball, cigars, and beer. University of Dayton grad from Youngstown, Ohio, living in York, Pa.

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