Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Don't Let Teens Play With Children's Toys

You've all seen this seemingly safe child's toy, right?  In our part of the world, we call them "poppers" or "pop-its." You press it down on a table or floor and after a few seconds, it pops into the air. Gleeful, I tell ya.

Since my son is thirteen and is past the danger of putting it into his mouth and swallowing it, I though it was safe to let him play with this toy. After all, others like it are in my Sunday School treasure box, from which children can pick when they get up and give a talk in front of a crowd. Boy, was I wrong. Please don't call Child Protective Services.

My son, walked past me this afternoon, and as he did, I noticed some strange markings on his face--strange markings that would cause a mother of a teen extreme alarm if they were elsewhere on the body, say on a neck or somewhere.

"What happened to your face?"  He, not knowing there was anything wrong, went to the bathroom mirror. He came out with a sheepish grin and said, "Oh, I guess that happened when I stuck the popper to my face."

He stuck the popper to his face. Where was the warning label? Why wasn't I advised that adhering a popper to the face may cause a child to look as if an octopus had attacked? How many teens have been unjustly accused when they have come home at night with such bruises? "I promise, Dad, we were just playing with poppers!"  How many budding young romances have been squelched by disbelieving parents?

I will know better now. Especially in the case of my son, who charged me $1.50 to put his picture on the blog and tell his story. The little mercenary.

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's RAK Day!

February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day. You know what that means, don't you? You get to use your imagination to find ways to surprise people with kindness. Here are a few of my favorites:

* Tape fifty cents to a gumball/prize machine at the store for a random child to find.
* Take treats to someone
* Send a postcard
* Take a daisy to a neighbor
* Buy a small gift and mail it to someone
* Make it a point to smile at or say a pleasant word to three strangers
* Give someone a homemade coupon utilizing your skills. If you can sew, offer a coupon for one
   alteration. If you love children, give a coupon for 2 hours of child care. If you can cook, offer to
   make a meal of choice for a busy mom.
* Call someone who has impacted your life, just to say "thank you."  {Thanks to Cousin Chris for that    idea--she's a nurse and a patient called her to say "thanks." It made her day.}

If you need more ideas, check out the Random Acts of Kindness website.    If you would like a little kindness for yourself, check out these two Facebook pages:

* Michaels craft stores are randomly giving away gift certificates to their Facebook fans today
* Rayovac is having a contest to win free batteries and a flashlight. Even if you don't win, you get a $.55 coupon for batteries.

Post here in the comment section to let us know if you participated in RAK Day, and tell us what you did. We can all use some new ideas for brightening someone's day!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

For Charlie and Braden

For those of you who are parents, I have a question for you.

How often have you dragged your kids out of bed at 12:30 A.M. to go on an impromptu camping trip? In December, with snow on the ground? Never?  I didn’t think so.

What would you think of a father who would do so, especially if you knew the children were four and two-years old? And what would you think if you knew he happened to take these small children camping, in the winter, at 12:30 A.M. at the same time that their mother disappeared?

Wow. What an alibi. Josh Powell couldn’t possibly be responsible for his wife Susan’s disappearance, after all, he was on a camping trip.
At 12:30 A.M.
With his 2 and 4-year old.
In the snow.
Without their mother.

Over the past two years, we have watched the drama as Josh Powell maintained his innocence. We have seen his father and father-in-law almost come to fisticuffs on television over the issue. We have observed Josh’s own sister taking a stand against him, saying she believed he was responsible for the disappearance and probable death of Susan Powell. Custody battles have erupted with the children finally being placed in the care of Susan Powell’s parents, because of child pornography being found on computers in the home that Josh Powell shared with his father. A polygraph test was ordered for Josh, something he had refused to take before. In fact, he had refused to cooperate during the entire investigation.

Friends, family members, and complete strangers have fretted over the wisdom of allowing Josh visitation with his children. They feared for their safety. They wondered what Josh would do when faced with a polygraph test.

Their fears were not unfounded.

Today, when a case worker brought Josh Powell’s two boys, now five and seven, to his home for a supervised visit, the feared outcome became reality. The children ran to their father’s door ahead of the case worker. Josh Powell let his boys in, and slammed the door in the face of the case worker, who was supposed to supervise the visit. She smelled gas and hurried to her car to make a phone call. The house exploded behind her.

Before he killed himself and his two boys, Josh wrote a message to his lawyer. “I’m sorry, goodbye.”

I don’t know whether Josh Powell killed his wife. His father admitted that he and Josh’s wife had flirted with each other. After listening to this bizarre tale over the last two years, I wondered several times whether Steven Powell was actually Susan’s killer, with Josh covering it up. Who knew? The case was perplexing.

The only thing that is certain, is that Josh Powell died a murderer. He killed two small boys today in an “If I can’t have them, no one can” tantrum.

My husband asked me if I was going to break with tradition and use “stronger words” than I normally use on my blog. I told him no. I feel that there is always a better choice than using profanity. But I’m going to retract that statement. I think of two little kids whose own father blew them to bits because he loved them so much, and the only thing that comes to mind is this:

Damn you, Josh Powell. Damn you.

I won't be responding to comments on this post, as I feel it would lessen the impact of your contribution. Thank you for your comments.

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