Kid’s Day

My eldest son Jack asked me yesterday “When is kids day?” I said, “Kids day? It is kids day every day”. He laughed which made me think that he knew this already. As you know or may not know it was American Mother’s Day yesterday and I had been playing the it’s Mother’s Day today so mummy gets her own way card. I think he was fed up and wondered when he would get his own day. As much as I found his question hysterical, kids day as if there would be such a day, I did start thinking about how grateful I am for these little beings in my life. With the good there is the bad let’s not pretend there isn’t. Parenthood is hard and this hardship is kept a big secret by all the other parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents because nobody would ever procreate if they really knew what it takes to be a parent. But the good is so good, being a parent is beautiful, magical, breathtaking, it is all the things you never thought you needed in life but now have. I am not about to start advocating for “kids day” however, I will take a pause every now and then and think about how grateful I am to those little monkeys for giving me the gift of being their mother.

Featured image – Black and white image of Nash on the left and Jack on the right jumping in a giant puddle.

 

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

For those of you who don’t know May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. In this family, we know all too well the risks associated with too much sun. One of the first topics I decided to write about when I started this blog was sunscreens in a blog post of the same name. Applying sunscreen on a daily basis has become a huge part of my life, I am forever applying it to myself, Nash or my eldest son.

Skincancer.org states “With 5.4 million cases in more than 3.3 million people diagnosed annually, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer and highly treatable when detected early”. One of the concerns with having a kid with albinism is their lack of pigment, this is caused by a lack of Melanin in the skin. Melanin is described as the pigment that gives human skin, hair, and eyes their color. Medicinenet.com states “Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes. It provides some protection against skin damage from the sun, and the melanocytes increase their production of melanin in response to sun exposure.”

In Nash’s case, he naturally has little to no protection and both his skin and eyes are vulnerable to the sun’s damaging rays. Nash is required to visit a dermatologist regularly to have his skin checked, although he is unlikely to develop skin cancer at this young age he is much more likely to develop it than say you or me later in life. Skincancer.org recommends that everyone see their doctor regularly to have their skin checked. They even have a page dedicated to early detection and how to do an exam yourself.  I say prevention is better than treatment, so layer on that sunscreen, get on those sunglasses and don’t forget the hat.

 

 

“We Should All Be Feminists”

Don’t let the title scare you. I recently downloaded this short essay based on a TEDx talk of the same name by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. My husband and I were taking a little trip minus the monsters and I needed something to read. It was a shorter read than I was expecting but I found her views on Feminism enlightening.  I believe personally if we want to change the mindset of the people we need to start with the kids and how we as adults impart our prejudices on them. This doesn’t just include feminism it includes race, culture, religion, mental health, and disability.

Chimamanda says ” Today, we live in a vastly different world. The person more qualified to lead is not the physically stronger person. It is the more intelligent, the more knowledgeable, the more creative, more innovative. And there are no hormones for those attributes. A man is as likely as a woman to be intelligent, innovative, creative. We have evolved. But our ideas of gender have not evolved very much.”

Chimamanda states that we do a great disservice to boys: ” We stifle the humanity of boys, we define masculinity in a very narrow way. Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage. We teach boys to be afraid of fear, of weakness, of vulnerability. We teach them to mask their true selves.” I often hear parents telling their young boys “don’t cry be a big boy, big boys don’t cry.” Sometimes I to have found myself saying this, however, I make a habit to avoid this kind of talk if I can. It usually comes out when I am at my wit’s end and cannot think of anything sensible to say. I alway feel incredibly bad after knowing that my four-year-old is just a little human being who shouldn’t be ashamed of his emotions.  When I am more rationale I try to have an open dialogue and not shut down his emotions the minute he lets them out.

An example Chimamanda uses to show how boys have to prove their masculinity is a boy having to always pay the bill even if he earns or receives the same pocket money as a girl. She says “What if both boys and girls were raised not to link masculinity and money? What if their attitude was not “the boys have to pay,” but rather, “whoever has more should pay……By far the worst thing we do to males – by making them feel they have to be hard – is that we leave them with very fragile egos. The harder a man feels compelled to be, the weaker his ego is. And then we do a much greater disservice to girls because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males”.

Chimamanda says “What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender? If you have girls read the book, if you have boys read the book and if you don’t just read the book anyway or alternatively find the TEDx talk. In case you wondered nobody is paying me to write this I was just really blown away by her thoughts. Next stop Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky – I promise not to write about this one