My Abuelita and Grosfatti. Both immigrants to Argentina, Mabel Rose Mugglesworth, abandoned as an infant, would marry Hans (qua Juan) Solbrig in 1929, Hans had lost his arm in the First WWI, immigrating to Argentina to find work in 1928. He would adopt the four children from Rose’s first marriage to her step brother.
My other grandma believed in the enduring power of being normal, and embraced Americana as a counter weight to her intellectual roots. She did not set foot on U.S. soil until she was 18. She took a freighter to Chicago for college in 1921. She never returned to China.
My brother tells me that it was not until after my dad left that they began to bond.
Perhaps it was at this moment father and son began to see himself in the other.
E.O. Wilson, the author of the classical biological text “Sociobiology” taught in my dad’s department at Harvard for most of their mutual careers. Wilson’s mix of conservative politics and biological determinism became a classic case for the critique of science in the women’s movement. When I eventually went to college, I took a few classes about feminist theory and I learned about this debate. My dad and I rehashed the argument over the dinner table during my spring breaks.