This week in Parenthesis, two moms write thoughtful posts for the first-ever World Cerebral Palsy Day, Kristen Chase stands up for airplane-bound babies -- and more.
A day for teaching “love, acceptance and understanding”
For the first World Cerebral Palsy Day on Tuesday, Tanis Miller and Ellen Seidman addressed their experiences parenting children with CP. Seidman educated readers with a mix of personal detail and digestible fact (not to mention characteristic quotability: "Cerebral palsy is what my son has, but it does not have him"); Miller described her transformation from a teenager who was "uncomfortable" around disabilities to the loving mother of a child who has "more diagnoses than he does letters in his name." Miller acknowledges the difficulties posed by CP while making it clear she thinks "life’s magic doesn’t come from health" -- but rather from "love, acceptance and understanding. All of which my son has in spades."
They grow up so slowly
"It’s natural for parents to want to hold onto every moment of their children’s lives; to savor every single one as long as possible," writes Mike Spohr at The Spohrs Are Multiplying. "But I’m a little different."
Spohr notes that he sees sentiments about the passage of time -- the fact that kids grow up more quickly than parents can bear -- all over the place, but he can’t honestly say he feels the same. The loss of his first daughter, Maddie, is part of the reason he sees things differently; "losing a child makes it hard to be any other way," he says. He relishes watching his daughter Annie grow, and though he has a feeling "it’s not good to want to fast forward through life just so you can be sure you get your children to the end safely," he just can’t help it.
Up in the air
A single photo posted to Reddit over Labor Day weekend gave rise to the latest round of commentary over the ease, etiquette and annoyance of taking children on airplanes.
Kristen Chase’s contribution to the debate comes in the form of an honest (and long overdue) question: "How about all the other a**holes?" Sure, flying in the same cabin with a baby -- your own or someone else’s -- can be a pain, but there are plenty of other annoying in-flight situations involving people old enough to know better (e.g. "the idiot who can't seem to purchase a neck pillow and instead uses your shoulder as one"). When are they going to start offering bribes?
What do we do all day?
We know that kids have somewhat unconventional ideas about what moms and dads do at the office. But what about parents who stay home? How are they occupying themselves as the minutes tick by on the schoolroom clock -- as lunch boxes are opened and closed in the cafeteria, kickball games at recess won and lost?
“[M]y kids are certain -- absolutely certain -- that as much as they loooove school, they are missing some good stuff at home,” writes Jen at People I Want To Punch In The Throat. “They are positive that the Hubs and I are having a ton of fun without them.” What kind of “fun,” exactly? Why, playing with LEGOs, dressing up stuffed animals and going to the park, of course. If only life were that simple!