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May 23, 2019

When I was little, and I’d get hurt, soiled or sodden, my dad would saunter toward me, searching around in his pockets. His stroll lacked urgency, which made me suspect my situation perhaps lacked urgency too and might not end up sending me to the emergency room. By the time he arrived, my father had usually found what he was looking for, a navy-blue handkerchief with a white paisley design swirling around its center.

Some parents choose to treat their children’s bruises, abrasions and other mishaps with ice packs, warm compresses, aspirin, tinctures, salves or stitches. But he believe...

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