Twenty Innocent Children...Don't Forget Them | Family

Twenty Innocent Children…Don’t Forget Them

Have You Hugged Your Children Today?

children

Tonight, I am reminded by my friend and fellow ChicagoNow blogger, Sheila Quirke, aka. Mary Tyler Mom that tomorrow marks two years since the horrific and violent tragedy at Sandy Hook. Twenty innocent children lost their young lives along with their teachers and others at school that day.

I am thinking of their families, their parents, siblings, grandparents and all those who knew and loved these little ones.

It makes me cry.

I can’t even imagine the utter pain that these families have suffered over the past two years and how they will continue to suffer from such a tragic loss.

Nothing is more devastating than the death of a child.

What continues to scare me to the core is the everyday violence that we have almost come to expect when turning on the news. It seems that each day since that violent shooting, there have been more and more gun related deaths.

It breaks my heart when I hear about another child that is an innocent victim of a shooting. Children should be safe in school and in their homes…they should be safe walking to and from their neighborhood school…they should be safe in playgrounds.

But sadly, they are not.

I have been following and supporting the work and progress of Sandy Hook Promise along with reading the shared stories by Daniel Barden’s dad.  Mark Barden writes so beautifully about his son, Daniel, who lost his life that day as a first grader in Newtown.

Mark Barden lovingly writes how Daniel was such a sensitive child especially when it came to the needs of others, I feel like I knew his gorgeous little boy with the beautiful smile.

I keep reading Mark’s emails and his stories, hoping against hope that somehow, some way this nightmare will go away.

It will not.

This is a “living nightmare” for Daniel’s family. However, through his sorrow, Mark and the other members of Sandy Hook Promise are trying to make a difference with their work surrounding gun control.

I support Sandy Hook Promise and I pray that others will support their work too. It will not bring back their little ones but it hopefully will prevent some other families from suffering a similar tragedy caused by someone with a gun.

Sheila has written a post at ChicagoNow that I recommend reading. It is not easy to ponder the events of this horrible day but if we do not remember our past we will be forced to repeat it.

Thank you Sheila for your thoughtful words.

Two years ago tonight, twenty families in Newtown, Connecticut tucked their first graders into bed for the very last time.  These children got on their pajamas, some of them might have bathed, they brushed their teeth, complaining about it, I imagine.  Their moms and dads might have read them books and sung them songs.  And then, for the very last time, they turned out the light and said. “Good night.”

via Read This Before You Tuck Your Children Into Bed Tonight | Mary Tyler Mom.

Twenty Innocent Children...Don't Forget Them | Family

Holidays and Indulgent Grandparents…

Grandparents and Gifts

grandparents

The holidays are almost here and gifts will be pouring in from relatives to your children especially well meaning grandparents. It can quickly get overwhelming for you as parents and your kids. This is not a good feeling.

What if anything do you do to control the amount and type of gifts your kids receive at Christmas and Hanukah?

Let’s assume that most grandparents are well meaning even though you may think that sometimes they have lost their minds when it comes to gift giving.

grandparents

If it is not too late, try to have a conversation with them about what your children would like for gifts and what actually might be some really great gifts. This is not always a comfortable conversation to have but if you sandwich your points between two positive comments, it can soften the discussion. You might begin a conversation by telling them how helpful they have been recently, being specific and then swing into the gift topic.

Always end discussions like this with another positive thought as it leaves the conversation with an upbeat feeling instead of a decree about how you are raising your children and what grandparents can and cannot give them as gifts. To me, it is a blessing to have a grandchild.

My motto here, is to be kind as you never know what kind of day your family members are dealing with…we all have our difficulties to negotiate each day.

 

Twenty Innocent Children...Don't Forget Them | Family

Nut Allergies are NOT Funny!

Allergies

allergies

 

8. Those a**holes whose nut allergies have ruined peanuts on planes for everybody

via Lost Luggage, Delays, and Other Problems with Air Travel.

Came across this tongue in cheek article in my FB feed along with a response from Scratch or Sniff.

It is difficult for me to understand, why people are offended by anyone, with a severe, potentially fatal nut allergy, requesting fellow passengers on a plane to please refrain from eating nuts.

Having a grandchild with an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts has made me fully aware of how children and adults live with these types of allergies. Monitoring what our grandchild eats is a constant worry for her mom and us as grandparents. Allergic kids pose a serious concern for families.

Ingestion of nuts, skin exposure or inhaling the dust from nuts can cause anaphylaxis and end a child’s life in a matter of minutes.

allergies

Using this potentially fatal allergy dilemma as humor and adding this to a list of annoyances during air travel is, in my opinion, thoughtless. We all have snarky comments about air travel these days but if someone was in danger of dying, I would never even think to eat a handful of nuts or complain about my child not being able to eat his PB&J sandwich inflight.

Seriously, just how selfish and unfeeling have we become when traveling?

It seems that there is no longer empathy for the human condition, no matter what it is. Just a few days ago, I read where an UBER driver told a cancer patient she deserved her cancer when she cancelled her booking a few seconds after placing a reservation because she left her head scarf at her chemo treatment. WTH? Have we become that callous?

It seems a bit like “compassion fatigue ” to me. We are bombarded on a daily basis with outrageous news about horrible events occurring around the world. Even the television father that many grew up with on the Cosby Show has recently fallen from grace after accusations of being a sexual predator of women. There is so much sad news that we have become somewhat numb to serious and sad events

Empathy is something we as parents and grandparents are trying to foster in our children and grandchildren. Finding small opportunities to grow empathy in our kids is not easy, especially when we make fun of  “nut allergies” which many kids and soon to be adults experience. Even if a child is not allergic, they will have friends that will be allergic. Will they avoid these kids or will they be inclusive of them and avoid nuts in their own lunches so they can sit with their friends, who are many times ostracized to a nut-free table at school.

I would hope in general, people become more aware of the seriousness of allergies and the risk of anaphylaxis thereby becoming more tolerant and empathic when they are asked to avoid nuts when traveling on a crowded airplane.

It is just a start!