Friday, August 16, 2013

Weekly Wrap-Up (8.16.13)

I have back-to-school business on the brain this week, both because I spent the last two weeks writing school safety posts for the Red Cross and MomsEveryday and because back-to-school season has actually arrived.

As much as possible, I avoid the commotion and attempt to alleviate stress and anxiety (the only detail I worry about is getting all of Will's allergy and asthma medications and paperwork squared away before the first day of school) by starting early, taking care of just a little something each day, and avoiding that pesky sure-to-make-you-feel-like-a-crappy-mom-if-you-don't-establish-loads-of-creative-and-extravagant-back-to-school-traditions website, otherwise known as Pinterest. But on occasion, when I've unintentionally let my guard down, the stress and anxiety creep up behind me and...pounce.

When I read this article, my heart broke. I wept tears of sadness for this little girl and for her family, her mom and dad in particular, who had done absolutely everything right in an attempt to protect their daughter from the poison that ultimately took her life. And then I wept tears of fear for my little boy.

I try my damnedest not to draw unnecessary attention to Will's severe peanut allergy; the last thing I want is for his food allergy to define him. But today, could I draw attention to it for just one moment? Please help schools and teachers protect the nearly *six million kids (that's approximately one in every 13 children under the age of 18, which means that on average, two students in every classroom are affected), like Will, who suffer from life-threatening food allergies by following schools' food rules and restrictions, and teaching your children their role in keeping friends with food allergies safe. (More information is available through the Food Allergy Research & Education "Be a PAL and Protect A Life" program, but the basics include: 1) take food allergies seriously, 2) don't share food, 3) wash hands after eating, 4) talk to friends about their allergies, and 5) call for help immediately if friends start to get sick.)

Thanks for letting me work out that stress and anxiety here, friends.


One Simple Change
On a lighter and more positive note, here is a heart-warming and eye-opening story about one man - a real-life Mr. Holland - who fought the trends, took a leap of faith, and risked his entire career to save an elementary school and the students who now call it home.

Check out these 19 back-to-school-themed failures. Some will make you laugh out loud, others will make you cringe, and all will make you worry about the future of our nation's children...
This might be my favorite.
You know what I'm talking about, right?

MomsEveryday: Back to School Safety
Looking for back-to-school safety tips? From the personal information kids need to know, to travel to and from school, to backpack and classroom and playground tips, this post covers everything you'll need to know in order to prepare your kids for a safe school year. Let's make this year a great one!

MomsEveryday: A Harsh Wake-Up Comment
In case you missed it the first time around, MomsEveryday ran my post about the nastiness that inevitably arises when you put your life out there on the internet for the world to see. Though the subject and theme of the post caused me a great deal of anxiety initially, I rather enjoyed the writing and reading/rereading processes (during which I learn the most about myself) on this one. And while I didn't expect this to be the case, I'm quite fond of the finished product as well.

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