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Parenting (64 posts)
Seriously, grab a hanky. Here is the story of a woman who sacrificed herself so that her child could live. Stacie Crimm, of Ryan, Oklahoma, reportedly " laughed and cried all at once" when she discovered she was going to have a baby at age 41—she'd been told she couldn't become pregnant. A few months later Crimm started complaining to her brother of strange aches and pains. Scans revealed that she had neck and head cancer, but she worried that chemotherapy would damage her unborn child and refused treatment. Soon the tumor reached her brain; Crimm collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, where they delivered her tiny, 2-pound, 1-oz baby girl. Although Crimm was in and out of consciousness, and little Dottie May needed intensive care, a sympathetic nurse at the hospital worked to get the baby to her mother, moving her in a capsule-like ICU, so that Crimm could hold her baby in her arms. She did, just that once. A few days later she died.
In accordance to her mother's wishes, the baby is being raised by Crimm's brother and his wife, who were able to take her home last week. NewsOK has the whole story, including photos of the irresistable Dottie May.
How about that nurse, right? Agi Beo, for making a mother's dying wish come true, here's to you. The word "heroine" doesn't even begin to cut it.
More stories of everyday heros:
The untold story of the 9/11 boatlifts
Small acts of kindness to try today
People who make a difference
Now, for the first time in 25 years, the Girl Scouts of America have updated their badge system. Alisha Niehaus of the Girl Scouts told USA Today that in focus groups, "girls asked for more challenge and more creativity. They asked for fun with purpose."
Yes, times are changing. New badges include public policy, website design, locavore, and digital movie making. This story in USA Today features images of the new badges. The totally-80s-sounding Fashion, Fitness and Makeup badge has been replaced with a Science of Style badge, which encourages girls to learn about the chemistry of sunscreen and nanotechnology that's used to make fabrics.
Then there is the new “Science of Happiness” section in the Scout's handbook. Created with input from developmental psychologist Martin Seligman, PhD, this badge helps girls develop the skills they'll need to survive in a crazy, stressful world. According to Niehaus, the badge is meant to "teach girls how to find happiness in their own lives."
Earn your own happiness badge (so to speak):
5 things happy people do
Find the authentic joy within
Choose a good mood
This may be an unoriginal thought, but it's true: being a parent is hard. You worry. You worry that something will happen to your kid. You worry that the world will make your kid sad. Then today I read a story that made me think: True, but also, maybe your kid will someday make the world happy.
Doug Wells is a 15-year-old Little League pitcher who recently achieved an athletic accomplishments many professional baseball players can only dream of: he pitched a no-hitter. Pretty cool.
Oh, and also: Doug is legally blind.
As an infant, the New Jersey boy was diagnosed with glaucoma, and he has undergone surgeries his whole life to restore his sight, none of which was worked. According to Today, "When he pitches, Doug says his vision is blurry but he can vaguely see the catcher's mitt. When he bats, he only sees the ball a moment before it reaches him." Disability? Doug doesn't seem hampered in the least. (Did I mention he also plays football?)
Reading about Doug, I thought of his parents, of how they must have felt upon learning their baby had a vision problem, of all the worry they have undergone. How lucky (or is it luck?) that their child has seemingly adapted to what the world has given him. And what a good reminder for the rest of us to make the best of the bodies we live in, the circumstances that have chosen us. Now, no more excuses: play ball!
(Read the whole story for Doug's little brother's endearing reaction to the news.)
8 people who made their dreams realities
14 inspiring stories of overcoming the odds
A documentary reveals the damage mainstream media does to women.
When Jennifer Siebel Newsom (left) learned in 2009 that she was expecting a baby girl with husband Gavin Newsom—California's lieutenant governor—she struggled to imagine how her daughter "could grow up to be emotionally healthy," she says in Miss Representation, the documentary she directed to expose how American media erodes female self-worth.
"You will laugh again. You will love again. It takes a long, long, long, long time. And you're never going to get over it. But never give up." Vanderbilt's advice to a mother and daughter in the audience who recently lost their son/brother to suicide. She tried to talk her own son (Cooper's older brother, Carter) off the ledge of their balcony before he fell to his death. While Vanderbilt says that closure is "a TV word," she has never given up hope or allowed tragedy to harden her spirit. She still believes, at 87, that her next great love is right around the corner.
"Follow your bliss." While Cooper was looking for more specific direction after he graduated from college—perhaps a lecture on what career path to follow—Vanderbilt shared with him only three words.
"We are not put on this earth to see through one another, we are put on this earth to see one another through." Simple but true.
To find out who Vanderbilt's fantasy daughter is and how Cooper has made a career out of fibbing to his mother watch the show.
What's the best advice you've ever received from your mom? Share your life lessons.
Famous kids reflect on why mom always knows best
Meet a mother warrior
6 ways to make your mom queen for a day
Yesterday morning at 5am, I was not only awake but browning three pounds ground beef (cursing, once again, the fact that one can't just dump raw meat into a slow cooker) for spaghetti sauce. It occurred to me that not only was I cooking 11 hours in advance for a dinner, but also 35 hours in advance for the next day's dinner, which would also be spaghetti, just one day old and reheated. It also occurred to me that I had actually started cooking at six pm the night prior, since I had had to take the ground beef out from the freezer in order defrost it. Then, it occurred to me that I had planned this meal five days before taking the meat out, in the aisle of Stop and Save, where I had to calculate, sort and purchase a horrifying $300 of protein to last us the month.
When you do the math, it turns out that I started cooking on Thursday in order to eat leftovers the next Thursday, which we need to eat because on Thursday night, my son has swimming, my husband has his food co-op meeting, and I have an article due (the baby just gets to sit there, limp noodles up his nose, watching us run around). This is the juggling act between 5pm and 8 pm in the average American household, one that requires throwing a ball up (dinner!) one week in advance and keeping it up there in the air by the sheer force of grit, will, and reminder Post-it-notes plastered all over the house—so that you have your two hands free to manage the other five or six balls (job ball, kid ball, volunteer ball, spouse ball, house ball, friend ball, errand ball, the poor neglected goldfish who hovers by his sunken, algae-covered castle, looking ever upward for the possibility of a food flake ball—okay that's 8 balls, but who's counting).
Which is why I found this video on The Daily Dot so inspiring, even though the site had such a different interpretation of Selyna Bogino's talents, focusing on her 967,967 views on YouTube and her rigorous practice routine.
To me she was not only literally doing what so many of us do figuratively, she was adding new ways to do it that I will institute this upcoming Thursday:
How to balancing work and life
Dr Oz's 7 Ways to Reduce stress
Ending the multi-tasking madness
Everybody has their inexplicable fears. I once knew a woman who was afraid of coconuts and spent her whole vacation in Hawaii sitting inside the condo, afraid that if she went outside, one was going to drop off a tree and onto her head. As for me I am afraid of leeches, weird cults that suck you in and brainwash you, and the wholesale collapse of the economy, which would cause my husband to lose his job, which would cause us to lose our house and....move in with my mother. Late at night before bed, I often rehearse this worst case scenario in my mind: selling off all our stuff on the sidewalk, assigning us new bedrooms, and somehow finding schools for my kids in the middle of the year. Hence, the bags under my eyes.
My toddler, on the other hand, is afraid of dinosaurs. You do not want to be a two-year-old boy in America with this particular phobia. Dinosaurs are everywhere, lunging off lunchboxes, raging across raincoats, tromping with bared teeth across every television and playroom in the neighborhood.
Today was his first day of daycare. We entered the classroom and grabbed a tub of plastic animal figurines, all about 6 inches high. We pulled them out one by one...a lion...a chicken....a whale...a German shepherd....and gray-green T. Rex with jaws like some kind of prehistoric trash compactor. My son shrank, inserted thumb in mouth. I attempted recovery. I held up a giraffe.
"Is this a dinosaur?" I said.
"No," he said.
I held up cow. "Is this a dinosaur?"
I held up a lobster. "Is this a dinosaur?"
He wobbled, and jammed that thumb back in his mouth.
I looked at the lobster. It was the same size as the cow and the cat and the suddenly horrific-seeming crustacean (note to humanity: for us to maintain our supremacy on the food chain, crustaceans must remain smaller than us). With the change in scale, a lobster could be a dinosaur, a monsterous armored one with evil, neck-snapping claws.
It happens at least once a day in one way or another. Yesterday it was someone on the street. "Look at those blonde curls! Those huge blue eyes! I love your tutu! Aren't you a little doll!?" the well-meaning lady screamed at my toddler, who was lounging in her stroller wearing her favorite floofy "dancing dress."
"No," my daughter said, confused by the lady's baffling mix-up. "I’m a pewhson."
I was as pleased with her response as I was turned off by the stranger's greeting. It always makes me feel weird when people talk to my daughter about how pretty she is. She is, after all, a pewhson. I mean, like every child her age, she is adorable. And she likes to dress herself in frilly pink dresses and strings of beads and my one pair of heels she deems dress-up-worthy, and then she likes to twirl in front of the mirror and pretend she's a fairy. And of course I want her to feel good about herself, and to feel beautiful. So why don't I like that automatic "You’re so pretty!" people are always cooing into her (pretty) face? Aren't they just being nice? Luckily writer Lisa Bloom is smarter than I, and put her finger exactly on just what is wrong with greeting a little girl by saying "Oh, you’re so pretty!"
Today, the MacArthur Fellows were announced, known casually as the "genius" grants, since the winners are recognized for their unparalleled creativity in a variety fields, from medicine to musical composition to law to (this year) silversmithing. Each receives $500,000 to continue doing what they love to do—breaking boundaries.
Our favorite of this year's award honorees is the poet Kay Ryan, who explains in this short video that "only through the manipulation of language...was I able to reach the most interesting places in my mind."
Her happiness at wining the grant at age 65 is lovely, but note that midway through her talk, she mentions that "I'm always just beginning." She is speaking of how she approaches a new piece of writing and how her past writing can't or won't help her in the creation process. But taken out of context (why not?) the line makes a great motto for all of us, if not a poem in and of itself. Consider what your day would be like, if you woke up in the morning and said to yourself, "I'm only just beginning." On tough days, try putting an exclamation point at the end.
7 ways to spark your creativity
Inspirations from a few of the world's most creative people