It’s a Zoo!

its a zoo

Photo: Pinterest

 

“It’s a zoo over there!”

She exclaimed. Out of breath.

Cheeks still red from the stairs

And the cold evening air.

“It’s a zoo in the store.

It’s a zoo in the park.

It’s a zoo … at the zoo,”

Her smile grew.

She cracked up.

Couldn’t stop.

Her delight

Only matched

By the first time she ‘got’

“Slipped my mind” meant forgot.

 

 

 

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No Underdog!

Photo Marnie Russ

Little Roo. Photo: Marnie Russ

 

The runt of the litter. The smallest of smalls.

A birth’s afterthought. The last of the lot.

She was given some frowns.

She was given less hope.

She was not much to look at.

A long shot, underdog.

Yet inside her she had something fierce

At her core

She was never the winner

But she was something more:

She worked harder than hard

She learned patience from woe

She grew up,

She believed

She perceived and she saw,

She found footholds in smiles

She made steps from each praise

She climbed up rungs of hardship

Found her stride

Found her ways

To amaze.

 

 

Click her for more about Little Roo’s story 

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Find a Home

 

 

The prompt for today was just too on point to ignore, when the paperback became available TODAY (!!!) and when so much of this novel is about what a home is, or what may at any moment become a place one is pushed out of or needs to run away from. The connection felt even more apt with how the holidays bring up for so many the very realities and stories of a home (or lack thereof).

“Apples in Applath” is a work of fiction, yet very real children do fall victim to policies and realities not of their choice or making. Also real is that what makes a home or family is not always immediately obvious; and that hope and wariness, need and conscience, often compete inside one’s soul as one seeks a safe space to call home.

I’m very excited for “Apples in Applath” – my fourth book and third novel. I hope you’ll check it out and share it with others who may find an interest. I hope that it may find a home in yours.

Even more so, my wish for you — and for all who are or once were children — is that you’ll always have a safe nest to call home.

 

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In Particular

Little_girl_drawing_with_blue_pencil Daniel Foy

Photo: Daniel Foy

 

She is deliberate. She takes her time.

Each line is drawn with distinct goal. Each color chosen with remarkable concentration. Each curve labored on in exact determination.

After all, the letters aren’t ‘just’ a prelude to a word expressed. It is none of it ‘just’ idle practice …

It is her name she’s working on, a profound soul-expression.

 

 

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Even In The Blackest!

 

DownUnder Stars AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

Even in the blackest night

There’s hope

In sight,

There’s light.

 

 

As addendum to this prompt I want to add news of amazing breakthrough research that is offering tangible hope to people with spinal cord injuries, who till now may have had little light at the end of their dark tunnels. Who knows — soon they may be able to get up again and walk!

Scientists use stem-cells to make paralyzed rats walk again!

(I’m doubly excited for this remarkable news because the co-leader scientist in this research, Professor Shulamit Levenberg, is my sister!)

 

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Un-Faint Yourself

make your mark

 

When woodwork calls

Do not fade in.

When worry weighs

And doubt still gleams:

Color yourself a bolder hue.

Be seen.

Be heard.

Be you!

 

votesforwomenbanner

This year marks 100 years to the first time women were allowed to vote in New York. It led the way to the 19th Amendment and women’s constitutional right to vote.

There are still those who try to suppress votes. There were always those who tried to put others down for wanting equal rights and for seeking access to those rights. Do not let others demonize you for having a voice. Speak up for those who can’t. Seriously: if you can, vote!

For more reasons to vote … Here are some (of the LESS graphic) historic caricature images that were used to shame, insult, threaten, and generally dissuade women from voting.

 

WomenSuffrage anti1

WomenSuffrage anti2

Suffragists-1suffrage112when women vote

 

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For more about Historic Women Suffragists

For more about 100 years to the Women’s Suffrage movement in New York

Mystery Mom

church pew AMDB7 on Flickr

Photo: AMDB7 on Flickr

 

She doesn’t know who her mom is. She was left as a newborn, wrapped in a piece of old bedsheet, under a pew in the church. Or so the story goes.

She spent her first year in the orphanage. Many mewling mouths and too few holding arms. She found a way to survive.

Halfway into her second year she got picked up, fussed over with odd sounds, carried out of the room that had been her world. It was confusing. It was good. It was a lot.

She has a family now. They love her. They are patient. Most of the time. They try.

She’s a big girl. Almost ten. She understands. Sometimes.

She still can’t help but wonder who she is. What made her undesirable. Why she was left, naked not only of clothes but of clues.

She still can’t help but wonder about the woman who’d had her, then left without a sound. The woman who isn’t even mist and fog of memory and yet she still is tethered to in heart and mind. Her Mystery Mom.

 

 

 

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Trademarked Children

kids on dock OsnatHalperinBarlev

Photo: Osnat Halperin Barlev

 

“She is a stubborn one,” her mother claims. “Screams bloody murder when she doesn’t get her way.”

“He is our difficult child,” the father sighs. “I guess every family has one.”

“This one is the lovey-dovey twin,” the grandma declares. “Her sister? She’s the total opposite. Wriggly worm, that one.”

“He’s Mister Independent,” the foster mother says, “Won’t let anyone help him with anything.”

“He’s the lazy one,” the teacher complains. “If he can get away with not doing something, I bet you he won’t do it.”

“She’s the fighter,” the nanny imparts, “bossy as they come.”

Surely she is more than stubborn. Surely he’s not always difficult. Surely there are times she does not want to cuddle and when her twin sister relaxes into hugs. Surely sometimes he wishes to be helped. Surely he is not just lazy. Surely there are situations where she does not want to fight.

Children listen to our words, and the tone we say them. They internalize our attitudes of them and all too often identify with the boxes we sort them into. Let us take heed, for what we stamp children as, they might live up to without knowing there are many more hues in the palette of what they are and can become.

 

 

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A Pun Discovery

duck duck duck OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

The five-year-old bounded up the stairs. I could hear him giggling. He stopped two steps below the landing and tilted his head at me. A brown curl flopped over one eye and he blew at it.

“When does a duck duck?” he challenged.

I grinned at his giddiness. Language for this child had just began to turn more fun than frustration, and his emerging fascination was delicious. “When?”

He chortled. “When you throw something at it! Because …” he demonstrated, bobbing so deeply that I reached over to grab his shoulder to ensure he didn’t lose his balance on the steep stairs, “duck … like this … is same as … quack quack duck!”

 

 

 

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Brushosaurus!

 

toothbrush holder

Photo: Pinterest

 

 

Quite a few of the children who come to see me have sensory issues that make teeth brushing a daily struggle. Princess and superhero themed toothbrushes are one way to make a necessary routine child-friendly and help with carryover and healthy oral-care. Another is to add a ‘toothbrush guardian’ (added bonus: this allows an inexpensive way to keep up with the recommended frequent change of toothbrushes).

To make Brushosaurus, drill a pair of holes into a plastic toy to make a handy dandy toothbrush organizer. Has been known to work just as well with magic ponies, sheep, unicorns, giraffes, and even the occasional Brushoturtle.

Brush on!

 

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