When I looked at those parents and children, I heard the anguish in my friend's heart. The joy and pride of one moment. The emptiness and confusion of another. My own tears as I watched my son drive away.
When a local health foundation's bi-monthly marketing newsletter arrives in my mailbox, I throw it in the recycle bin without a second glance, every time. But the issue that arrived yesterday stopped me in my tracks.
I cannot even imagine what losing a child to drugs would be like. Lord knows I've thought about it a lot. For a while, I was terrified that it might happen to me. And I'd be lying if I said it's not something I still think about from time to time when I allow my mind to wander out of the moment.
There was no consoling you. You battled through bites of grilled cheese. Slapped my hand when I tried to feed you tomato soup. In the end, I resembled a walking contemporary painting. Some might call you artistic -- a free soul with a strong spirit. I had other words in mind.
It's easy, for instance, for a parent to access their child's name and Social Security number, then open up a phony account--even if the victim is literally a child. Most companies don't check the ages, so that's why this crime can go undetected for years.
"Mommy," he piped up from the back seat in his sweet little voice, "I don't like people who have different skin color than mine." My brain sort of froze, but I stayed on the road as I gulped in discomfort.
Friends of mine who have guns in a household with children don't want to believe that their home is actually less safe, not more. Those who believe in a society with no guns (me), and those who are training their kids on firearms at the age of 5, will never be able to agree on this.
She catches your eye across the playground. She has a cute haircut and is wearing those sandals you've been eying. The kid she's pushing in the swing appears to be about the same age and gender as the one you chase around on a daily basis. This woman is worth further inspection.
Before that terrible day 14 years ago, Austin was typical by most accounts. He was able to walk evenly, talk as well as any 2-year-old, and use both hands equally. He was happy and inquisitive, explored things eagerly, and enjoyed watching cartoons.
I'm all for introspection and self-analysis and balance and boundaries. I think our kids deserve our time and attention. But I can't help thinking that the idea that children require our 100 percent undivided attention 100 percent of the time has gone a little too far.
If you have a child who struggles in public school because of a learning difference, please don't give up. Explore other options. Find an alternative school that will recognize your child's potential, maximize it, and allow them to achieve great things.
Hogwarts is run by white people, and let's not touch racism and Tolkien. Where are the South Asian superheroes? The Black people in Dr. Seuss? Make sure your kids know the world they see has missing pieces, missing people and missing stories.
Sure, over the past 15 years I've given birth twice -- once to twins -- and I noticed that I am rounder, softer... a bit more "zaftig." There's a lot more "stuffing," as my daughter referred to it recently while pointing to a mound of bare skin bulging out between my pants and t-shirt.
If we truly are going to guard the next generation, we must engage communities to raise the bar on human health -- with a clear and specific focus on preventing cancer. If our children are going to have a healthier future, then cancer must not be an expected stage of life.
We've sifted through this fall's new stuff for titles that could work for families, plus some classic shows that offer fun watch-together experiences. And remember, there are plenty of family-friendly shows available through streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.
A better way. Instead of trying to talk your child out of their fears by rushing in with reassurances that aren't helping anyway, help your child come to these very good and reasonable conclusions you are offering, on their own steam, by flipping them around and asking the right questions.