We All Were Children After All

Orangeberry Books

I’ve never understood people who say they don’t like kids. They were once kids after all. Did they like being so easily dismissed by grown ups?

Not to mention I thought we were raised to avoid gross generalizations. There aren’t that many groups left you can publicly and happily state you don’t like. And what is to be gained from dismissing an entire group? You miss out on some interesting individuals that way.

Anyway, recently I met–in a cyberspace sort of way–a woman working on an anthology of stories from childhood. Dr. Niamh Clune is part of a new publishing venture that this week is coming out with their first book: Every Child Is Entitled to Innocence.

The proceeds will go to Child Helpline International, an organization that works to establish global helplines for children.

Perhaps you’d be interested in the book or at least passing this news on. You could friend Orangeberry on Facebook if you like, tweet, or participate in their Light-a-Candle campaign.

Somewhere between the time I was three and a stranger shot our family dog and ten years later when a strange man appeared at my bedroom window, I learned the world isn’t a safe place. We can’t protect children from every heartbreak in life–and if we did how would they learn empathy and develop as full human beings? But too many things children don’t need to experience, and I wish all us grown ups would give more thought to that.

And the American family is?

my kiddo skates fast

My students–who come from all over the world–were asking me about American families. Why do we make our kids leave home at 18? Well, I don’t think we make them leave, but we do seem to have a different attitude about children leaving home. I had a hard time answering their questions though. My own experience growing up and leaving home wasn’t typical (what is typical?) and I can’t represent every population and all the views…

I have to remind my students that Americans aren’t all like me. So often I ask them, “What comes to mind when you think of an American?” “Blond.” Sigh.

But that is something else all together. The last few days they’ve wanted to ask about families. One student believes that American parents are fine with their kids getting hotel rooms and that kids take drugs because their parents do.

It was a long conversation and I know I failed to explain the half of it. How on earth do you explain the American family?

Magic Pixie Dust & Other Ways to Act like a Grown-up

My next art show is January 20th. My spring semester starts January 9th. I’m not prepared for either.

If I could give up washing dishes, laundry, walking the dog, and parenting, I might feel okay with these dates–and I might not have this headache.

But no pixie is going to sprinkle my apartment with magic dust and announce, “You now have the gift of extra time!”

Bills will not pay themselves. (Shocking, isn’t it?)

I don’t need to live in a spotless apartment (please, never stop by unannounced), but I do rather like eating off clean plates and wearing clothes that don’t smell. (I’m a conformist.)

The thing I’ve learned about art shows (at least, my art shows) is that they do not pay for themselves. From a budget perspective they are foolish endeavors… why go through all the bother?

I know plenty of people who when deciding where to live and what to study and what job to take look at the money. They have a lifestyle they want (above the basic food-and-shelter), and they act accordingly. Often these people have lovely houses in nice neighborhoods and they do things like take trips and go shopping for new clothes.

When I’m in these people’s houses I feel I’m from another planet and my brain is incapable of figuring out how these people manage it. They have matching furniture in the living room!

Okay, I’m rambling when I’ve got plenty of work to do.

If you know how to juggle everything and live like a grown up, please let me in on the secret.