Tacoma is a great place to live. Great parks, great shops, great schools -- and great hospitals. Thanks to a 4-year-old who apparently inherited my asthma but to a boy (worse) degree (apparently boys' respiratory pieces -- don't ask me terminology -- are narrower than girls', so they are more likely to be more affected by a predisposition to asthma). Twice last year the brave boy spent multiple nights at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. Including one stay that began during the big fall rains that closed Highway 16 for part of a day, stranding a very worried mommy in Bremerton. (Goes to show I just shouldn't leave Tacoma, eh? I know all the alternate routes around here ...) And while I wish we didn't know this so well, the folks at Mary Bridge are wonderful. Tonight my son got to venture to another cadre of talent, Group Health headquarters, for what we thought was another asthma attack. But, no, it's croup. Croup? I thought that was something you only read about in old novels, like Anne of Green Gables. But no. He has croup. And the youngest girlie-girl might have it too. But little guy and his daddy are at the hospital -- thankfully only a short breathless drive away. The girls and I are getting ready for bed. And as I cross my fingers and pray that this isn't an overnight stay for the missing munchkin, I'm also relieved that he's near by and under the care of some talented folks. And so a shout out to our local health care providers -- thanks for all you do.