We’re in hard economic times in case you haven’t heard.
My husband and I talk openly in our house about our finances, and, so, little ears are always listening. Our discussions are generally that our bills need to be paid or that we’re paying out more than we’re bringing in, at least some months.
We’re not destitute, and we haven’t gotten down to “our last $5,” a story my mom used to tell us kids.
Both my parents lived during the depression, so they had plenty of stories to tell. And, although they lived comfortably when I was a child, they were never ones to spend hard-earned money on needless luxuries. Up until my teen years, I thought we were about to go broke, since they always talked about not knowing if they were going to have enough money to get by. My mom would clip coupons and shop three different grocery stores in town just to get the best deals. They rarely bought new clothes. They made a garden. They didn’t recycle, because they would reuse containers and bags, instead.
They were smart. I mistook it for being nearly poor.
So, when my 11-year-old daughter hears my husband and I talk about money, she has a unique way of processing the situation. She has declared we are never to go out to eat again. (We did last night.) And, instead of spending money on school-sponsored trips (for her sister), we should save that money.
And, sometimes, when she’s been thinking just a little too much, she pops out the question: “Momma, are we going to be hobos?” or “Momma, am I going to be a hobo?”
I envision an older man in tattered clothes hopping in a railcar to travel across the country or maybe an “Andy Griffith” episode about a hobo who talked Opie and his pals into being like Robin Hood and robbing from the rich to give to the poor (in this case, the hobo).
Still, my daughter hasn’t totally rejected the possibilities of such an occupation. Sometimes, when she’s worrying about school or is stressed by something kids stress about, she’ll get to thinking about a life of no responsibilities and declares, “I wish I were a hobo!”
– Linda Lynn
My youngest got signed up on his school team organized by his PE teacher, and he’s bugged me to sign up for it since it got the form. The other two, as I am, are along for the ride, but I’m seeing this as a great way to get active between now and race day on April 25.
The kids’ race involves logging 25 miles on a log that you can download at the Memorial Marathon’s Web site, www.okcmarathon.com between now and race day. You run or walk in any quarter-mile increments on your own, and then when it’s time for the OKC marathon, your kids will run a safe, closed, 1.2-mile course, finishing what would be a real marathon of 26.2 miles.
It sounds like fun, especially for $5 a participant. It’s also for a good cause in remembrance of those who died in the tragic 1995 bombing of OKC’s federal building and to benefit the work of the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
Sign up today — it appears the deadline is April 1, although my son’s school said everyone needed to sign up by today (Feb. 16). In any case, it’s going to take some time to fit in 25 miles of running/walking with kids between now and then, so don’t wait. For more information go the Web site here. If all goes as planned, my kids and I will look for you at the race.
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman (email@example.com)
Last weekend, I took my son (he’s almost 4) to see “The Blind Side.” Given the rating and subject matter (football), I thought it would be OK to take my boy to see it. And it didn’t disappoint. It was a fabulous movie and really tugged at the heartstrings. My son wasn’t wrapped up so much in the storyline, but he was definitely into the football scenes. And of course, he loved “Big Mike.”
When we got home, he says, very matter-of-fact, “Mommy, Big Mike is brown. What color am I? Am I brown?”
OK, so I really wasn’t expecting that. I was a bit tongue-tied, I must admit. I don’t want him to think he’s different than someone else based on skin color. But I didn’t want to lie to him either. What’s a mom to do?
Call her mom. That’s what.
My mom had some great advice and told me exactly what to say.
“Hunter, God made us all different shades, like paint on a palette. Like snowflakes, no two are alike, and that makes each of us very special.” Then she suggested I show him how my skin tone is even a little darker than his. He seemed very satisfied with that and went on with his day.
Whew! Good answer, Mom. She really does know best.
Ever been asked a difficult question by your toddler? How did you handle it? Let me know by commenting here or by e-mail. I’d love to hear your stories.
The four pillars of the First Lady’s campaign are:
Helping parents make healthy family choices;
Serving healthier food in schools;
Making healthy, affordable food more accessible;
Increasing children’s physical activity.
Since the announcement today, I’ve received e-mails or read about resounding cheers in agreement from organizations that include the American Diabetes Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American Medical Association and more.
“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic and security of our nation is at stake,” Obama said, according to a news release from the USDA. “This isn’t the kind of problem that can be solved overnight, but with everyone working together, it can be solved.”
Recent studies put the health care costs of obesity-related diseases at $147 billion per year, the USDA information stated.
Weighing in from the the pediatrics academy, Judith S. Palfrey, president of the organization that represents 60,000 pediatrician, called rescuing children’s health “a medical and moral imperative” in a news release.
“Over the past twenty years, our nation has seen an alarming rise in the number of our children who are overweight and obese. It will take a concerted effort and thoughtful collaboration to help create healthier communities for children,” she said.
The pediatric academy is asking pediatricians to start calculating the body mass indexes, or BMI, for patients over 2, among other recommendations.
The Let’s Move! campaign is a collaborative and community-oriented effort. Joining Obama for the announcement included local students, members of the president’s Cabinet, Congress members, many of the nation’s mayors and leading representatives from the fields of media, medicine, sports, entertainment and business communities.
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman (firstname.lastname@example.org)