Dolls can be traced back more than 4000 years, to the times of the Ancient Egyptians but dolls have evolved from wooden, vaguely human shaped figures to dolls such as those in a fashion doll play set that so many children love today. Some people are critical that today’s children spend too much time in front of the TV. However, this can often inspire their play. Toys such as the Monster High 13 Wishes Doll Gigi are inspired by movies, but can inspire endless hours of fun and imagination.
Most people have a hard time believing that people here in the U.S. go hungry too. And NO not always by choice, I pre-empt the ones who say we are always on a diet. The sober truth is, all you have to do is look a little closer at your neighbors or people you pass on the street next time. Many people can barely afford to eat and are too embarrassed to admit it.
Too embarrassed to admit it because in a country as rich as ours supposedly to be, it’s unthinkable that anyone’s stomach should grumble involuntarily. An yet, congress is proposing cuts to food stamps and other forms of aid to the poor. No, strike that. Yesterday, conservatives actually pushed through the bill that will cut billions from the food stamps (a.k.a. SNAP–the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and other welfare programs.
Many conservatives claim that SNAP is out of control and rife with abuses. If they had their way, it should be simply eradicated. What they don’t realize is that the population that benefits most from the program is the future of this country, the children. See the quick infographic below for figures.
Do you remember what you were doing two decades ago? Well, almost two decades. I do! I remember exactly what I was doing 19 years ago.
19 years ago, I was huge as a house! No, really! I was so big, I could hardly move. 11 months after my first baby, I was delivering my second. Yeah, crazy, right?
It was a crazy time, it was exhausting, but it was also the most rewarding and joyous times. Ah, I miss having babies.
Now, she is a young lady and still screaming for attention even when she’s not trying. 🙂 That’s just the kind of young woman she is. She’ll make your head turn even if you don’t mean to. And don’t let her flash a smile at you, you’ll be sunk for sure. And if you ever get a chance to talk to her, you might as well have heard the sirens sing. You won’t be going anywhere else.
Everyday since she was born, she’s made us proud. Even then, as a new born she garnered attention as people came to gaze at the biggest baby at the nursery that day. lol! I supposed we should have realized that omen was just a taste of what was to come. She commands just by BEING. 🙂
To my baby girl, HAPPY 19TH BIRTHDAY!
That I love you, is a given. That you are my daughter, is a blessing that I am thankful for everyday.
All parents think their children are exceptional. I certainly think mine are gifted! And I didn’t need a list to tell me they are, they just are. However, if you’re wondering and if you just want to be sure, here’s 20 signs for giftedness which were adapted from Austega:
1. Has early interest in words and reading
2. Has exceptionally large vocabulary for their age
3. Learns rapidly, easily and efficiently
4. Is curious about objects or situations, asks provocative questions; enjoys exploratory activities
5. Has an unusually strong memory, but is bored with memorization and recitation
6. Is flexible in thinking patterns; makes unusual associations between remote ideas
7. Is independent
8. Has a wide range of interests
9. Demonstrates unusual reasoning power
10. Likes structure, order and consistency
11. Show unusual degrees of originality, concentration and persistent hard work on projects that capture their interest and imagination
12. Is perceptually open to his or her environment
13. Has an advanced sense of humor
14. Is sensitive to the feelings of others
15. Shows more interest in creative effort and new activities than in routine and repetitive tasks
16. Shows an intense interest and aptitude in an artistic activity, such as drawing, singing, dancing, writing, or playing a musical instrument
17. Is intellectually playful, interested in fantasy, imagination
18. Acts as a leader among children of their own age
19. Tries to excel in almost everything she does
20. Senses when problems exist; always trying to adapt or improve things
Whether your child fits all those characteristics or none of them, I bet you still think your child is gifted don’t you? GOOD! Because they are!
Every child born is gifted. They are a gift in and of themselves and whether they accomplish great things or not is not really the point is it? The point is that they are yours to take care of and love no matter what.
“It won’t be one of mine”. That’s what one mother said about her child being bullied. That’s what we all say too, but even when we do everything right, what assurances do we have that the same thing won’t happen to our children? It’s a cruel world they are living in. The boundaries that hemmed us in when we were younger are now blurred and even more so when you throw in the anonymity afforded by technology. Some kids (and some adults too) are emboldened when they think they can hide behind aliases and anonymous personas on the internet or through texting.
Growing up and being a teen is hard enough without adding bullying into the mix. It seems that we hear more and more cases of young kids taking their own lives because of alleged bullying. Just today, I read about two cases. One is of a mom in Philadelphia who risks jail time to avoid subjecting her child to bullying. The other, more severe case is of a 12 year old Japanese girl who hanged herself because of bullying. After hearing of the later case, could you blame the Philadelphia mom?
It breaks my heart to hear of these cases. I feel bad for the young lives cut short. I feel bad for their parents left behind. But most of all I am terrified that it would happen to us. It’s easy to become complacent, to think that it would never happen to us. But as we all know, there are no guarantees in life, only hope. Hope that we have done enough to create a secure sense of self in our children, that we have done enough to make sure their exposure to the unpleasantness in life is at most minimal. We hope that we’ve loved them enough that they don’t need anyone elses. We hope that we’ve armed them enough to fight anything thrown at them. We hope that they are strong enough to withstand hopelessness. We hope…
But the most important thing that I hope we have imparted in our children is to not be afraid to be wrong and to not afraid to be loud. I know. Wrong and loud does not seem to be characteristics that we ought to be teaching our children. They seem more traits fit for the bullies we are fighting against. But I do believe that the people involved in just the two cases I mentioned above, the people who had knowledge of the bullying, were afraid to be wrong and were afraid to be loud and stand out. They didn’t want to be the first one to step out of line to say, ‘stop!’. They didn’t want to be labeled as loud for speaking out.
In the Japanese case, “After an initial denial, Niisato Higashi Elementary School admitted Monday she had been a frequent target of abuse by classmates.” They admitted after the fact and after a ‘survey’ has been conducted. If only just one teacher had ventured to be wrong and found a loud enough voice to say ‘Enough!’
In the Philadelphia case, there is still hope. The kids are still alive. There are still here so that administrators can still bicker whether enough documentation is available to warrant protecting these kids. If only one administrator in that school district would risk being wrong by going against protocol and instead listen to this individual case and be the one to be loud enough for them so they can attend a safer school.
When my daughters entered school, someone told us that we had better teach them to stand up for themselves. That we should teach them to take no crap. That we should teach them to hit back. It sounded right. We wouldn’t want our daughters to be anyone’s victims.
Except that I wasn’t too comfortable with teaching them to fight. Instead, we taught them to avoid being in situations where they would have to hit someone back. We told them that crap is crap and they don’t have room within themselves for crap so leave others to theirs.
We taught them to stand up for someone else who is being taken advantage of. We told them to sit with the person sitting alone. We told them to be the first to help someone up when they have fallen. We told them to be the first to offer a kind word when someone is sad and be the first to say hi when someone is new to the school.
Are our girls perfect because of what we’ve tried to tell them and teach them? Of course not. I’m sure they have had their mean moments. I am sure that they have inadvertently laughed when someone stumbled. They have probably said some unkind words about someone else. They may have even hit back when someone shoved them. That’s alright. None of us are perfect.
My hope is that when it counts, I hope that they will have the courage to be wrong. To go against their friends to stand up for someone else who can’t do it for themselves. I hope they find their voice and use it as loud as they can to speak for someone else who can’t. I hope…