August 12th National Middle Child Day

The professionals say I should resent being the middle child of my family. That I am not the experiment my parents had with the first child and the cute third child that did everything right. Well, I guess I should be resentful, but I’m not. I have a wonderful older sister and an equally as wonderful younger sister. I do feel sorry for those who did not have brothers and sisters, they will never know what they are missing out on.

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Or maybe it’s because my parents were so good at not making us kids feel we were any different, or maybe it’s because my sisters never made me feel like I was in the middle. To be honest I don’t think we even thought about it.

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Now I realize many of you may have had a different experience. Life is full of experiences, they could be good or they could be bad. I often think it’s how we take them more than how they are intended. We need to take in consideration that we are all different people, none of us reacts exactly the same way to any set of circumstances. That said, we all also like to blame someone, or something, else so we do not have to assume the blame for our own faults.

Three cute golden retriever puppies in a basket.

I doubt animals even realize they are a middle child, or their mothers and fathers realize they even had a middle child. They treat each off spring as that off spring needs to be treated, doing what is required to let it grow. That being said, we are equally as animals. I really do not think that a parent says that’s the middle child so they aren’t as important.

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Today we like to whine and complain, the loudest normally getting what they want. That’s sad. (The middle child is generally the most quiet, or so the experts say) I am not sure who the experts are, I am not sure what studies they undertook, I am not sure if they are a middle child themselves or not. I am not sure that what they think matters or what makes them an expert.  I think we are who we are… but I am proudly no expert.

How to celebrate – Enjoy being the middle child. If you get frustrated by the way your parents treat you, try changing the way you treat them! Spend more time enjoying life, it’s way too easy to find all the things wrong with it.

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National Parents Day

One of the toughest jobs in the world is being a parent. There are a lot of people who have children but that does not make them a parent. A parent is always someone who puts themselves second to their children, who see to the needs of their children even beyond their own, and is willing to teach, nurture and love unconditionally.

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But a parent must also be able to see the flaws in their children and dish out discipline when required. A child that gets everything they want, when they want it, without having to do anything to earn it, is not being a good parent and will lead to issues both now, and later.

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I have seen so many parents that want to be their kids best friend. That is not being a parent either. The children of parents that are “friends” with their children are more likely to let them get away with things they shouldn’t and not learn that to get respect, you have to give respect.

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And when it’s time to let go, a parent will know instinctively, a friend won’t. In the animal word the adult animal protects, feeds, and teaches their young until it is time for the young to move on. Then they  say goodbye and are likely never to see each other again. Fortunately as humans, we do not have to suffer the same fate but there is still something we need to learn from it. While we should always want to keep our children safe and secure, there are times when they will have to choose for themselves and we will not always be there when they have to make choices.

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So yes it is a job. Today was probably created by some group to sell more cards and gifts but that idea never caught on. It is simply a day, recognized by President Clinton, as day for children to honor their parents by spending a little time with them. For the true parent, there is no better gift.

How to celebrate – Thank your parents for all they have done for you. If your parents are no longer living, remember the good times with them and all the things they did for you. Take your parents to lunch or dinner or do a cookout for them.

May 25th National Missing Children’s Day

I cannot imagine the feeling of knowing your child is missing. The horror of not knowing they are safe or not, not knowing whether they are being treated badly or not, the not knowing if they are still alive or not. You already know they aren’t safe, you already know they are being treated badly, that just leaves the last one, something far too unimaginable to even fathom.

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Have you ever lost sight of your child? Just for a moment? At a mall or a department store, on a playground or at a school function? It’s terrifying. When you do find them then the anger sets in that they would wander away from you but there is also that relief factor that they are safe and sound, that you found them or they found you.

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You just turn your back for a second and they are gone. They don’t really know the difference but so much can happen in those few seconds. Somewhere around 50,000 children are abducted every year by non-family members. For the most part that means there are 50,000 sickos out there that take them, probably many more that are not successful.

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The missing children’s organization was started back in the 1970’s, it took on more serious roles in the 1980’s and was finally proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan on May 25th, 1983. Approximately 20% of those missing children are never found, some are found but after it’s too late.

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I guess, from what I see, this is nothing new. It seems to have been a part of our history since the beginning of time. But why can’t we find a way to stop it? Why should any adult who steals a child from their family, steals a child’s innocence and steals a child’s life be allowed to live?

How to celebrate – Always keep you child, children, in sight. Make sure your child is registered with one of the safe children’s programs. Make sure you keep a current photo of you child on hand just in case.

May 6th Free Comic Book Day

The first known comics appeared in 18th century Japan, by the 1930’s they became popular in the United States. On the first Saturday in May free comic books are given out at select comic books stores across America (And Europe) by the North American Comic Book industry. (No, you can’t just go in and get which ever comic book you want.)

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The idea came from an article written in the August 2001 issue of Comic & Games Retailer by Joe Field. He operated “Flying Colors Comics” in Concord, California. The idea caught on and put into practice by the Diamond Comic Distributors (The worlds largest comic book distributors) in 2002. Today over 7,000 retailers participate in some 30 countries.

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When comics first came out they were basically for children’s entertainment. Basically every super hero the world has ever know came out of comic books. Some have been the pure imagination of the author, others are based on actual historical characters (with a few alteration) or mythological legends.

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While most are pure fiction, some mix historical facts into their pages. They are entertaining, but can also be educational, a sly way of teaching kids while they think they are having fun.

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But some comics are definitely not for children at all! (Some are even a little mature for most adults!) Like practically anything originally designed to be innocent and fun, it can be taken to a very dark side perverting what was originally intended.

Some of the top producers of comics in the world are Dark Horse, Top Cow, Marvel, Image Comics, Mad Magazine, Blank Slate Books and Drawn & Quartered.

How to celebrate – Go to a comic book store and get your free comic! (I am sure the very first ones are already collectable) Re-read any comic books you may have saved from your youth. Make sure the comics your children are reading are what you think they are.

April 21st National Kindergarten Day

Since 1837 people have found the benefit of sending their children to Kindergarten, whether it is to get them started early in their social development, a jump start on their educational requirements or because in today’s world so many people have to work to pay the bills, Kindergarten has now become a requirement.

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Frederich Froebel started Kindergartens in Germany. is idea was getting children acclimated to going to school. At first it was just for a half day as he did not want to tax the children, forcing them to grow up faster than they would without school. Through many mother’s tears, the idea has caught on even adding Pre-K to many school across the United States.

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There is little doubt that children do benefit from the earlier exposure to the world. They normally become more challenged and definitely are able to blend into first grade without the same stress. It allows the expectation for children to learn faster and retain more since they have had that extra year, or two, in the system.

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But there are risks involved too. Children become more independent often leading to other issues later on and children not ready to meet the demands of Kindergarten are labeled. Every child has their own personality and abilities. Some are ready at the age of 5 to begin their introduction to society, others take longer. And some meet friends that they will keep for the rest of their lives.  Each child needs to be evaluated on their own skill level but over-all, Kindergarten provides children with the chance to grow faster, learn more and the ability to blend in to society.

How to celebrate – If you have a child in Kindergarten, spend a little time volunteering there to help. Remember your days in Kindergarten, if you can remember that far back. If you have a child in Kindergarten make sure to take plenty of pictures , you will never have these days again.

October 18th Pro Life Day of Silent Solidarity

The third Tuesday of every October is a very special day. It is a day that students all over the world go silent to let their voices speak for those 3,000 babies aborted every day. 56 million since 1973, when Roe v. Wade was passed into law.

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Now I know these posts are supposed to be fun and lighten up the day for us. But sometimes there is something more important than a recipe for a new brownie or a vacation spot you can visit someday. This is something you can do today, this is something living children are already doing for children that have been killed.

Now I know all about a woman’s right to choose. That a woman has the right to pick when and where she will have a child. The only thing is, it doesn’t work that way. A few of us still believe that a baby is an act of God. By ending that life is playing God and it never works out well, for anyone. What parent among you would not willingly give up your life for your child?

It is proven that a fetus feels pain at only a few weeks. That an unborn child will fight for life and reacts to stimulus from outside the womb. To think it is just a mass, a blob of nothing that has no form is simply wrong. I know what I say won’t change anyone’s mind.

Who knows who that child might become? Maybe they’ll be the person who invents the cure for cancer, or maybe they will become a world class athlete, or maybe they’ll just be somebodies best friend.

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At least some of our children are smart enough, smarter than a lot of adults. So if you can’t get one to speak to you today, you’ll know why. They are taking a stance… after all, anyone one of them could have been one of the 3,000 a day that are killed because…

This day was founded by Brian Kemper in 2004.

How to celebrate – Celebrate life.

October 5th Walk To School Day

When I was a child I had to walk seven miles every morning to catch a bus that drove me another fifty miles to get to my school. It didn’t matter if it was snowing, raining, or hailing outside. The saddest part of all was the fact that the school was only about five miles away to start with.

Seriously though, I did have to walk, with my sister, about 2 miles and pretty much enjoyed every minute of it. Of course, we lived on a farm so we had to get to the highway where the bus could pick us up. We were very fortunate to have had that experience because nowadays most of our kids have to walk past the potential of drugs deals, street violence, and sexual offenders. It is more important now than ever before that we take our cities, and our children’s paths to school, back. Supporting Walk To School Day is a large step forward in doing that.

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Walk To School Day came out of Safe Kids Walk supported by FedEx. Over 8.2 million children have participated since it started in 1999. 16,000 FedEx employees have been involved with 10,000 schools making the program work. In fact, I have had some 23 years of experience with schools and know there is a place for this, and it serves a good purpose. We do need to make the paths to our schools safe again. No government, no school board, no policeman, is going to be able to do that, only we can make that change happen.

Now I know, we adults deserve our own time, work is important and we have all that shopping to do… but what’s most dear to us… all that stuff, or our children. This is not a day to hand them lunch and send them on their way, this is a day to walk with them, see what they see every day and what they have to contend with. In short, it should be what our parents did for us and what we expect of our children when they become parents.

Remember when Halloween use to be safe? Why isn’t it anymore? Is it because there are so many crazy people out there, in part… yes… but it’s also because we allow them to be out there and it’s something we need to be more aware of.

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How to celebrate – Walk your kids to school today, or walk them home tonight, or better yet… both! Learn what school programs are in place and if there aren’t any, get them started! Don’t just suggest it to someone else like it is their job to do it, do it yourself! Help take our communities back from those who would use it for their ends, not ours!