Monday, December 20, 2010

Why Shelter Your Kids?

Seriously?  That is really a question someone would ask?

On Facebook the other day a friend was talking about letting her preteen get her own Facebook account and was asking for opinions on it.  See, she believes her daughter is too young but was willing to listen to arguments for or against.  One of her friends responded asking "Why shelter your kids?"  I was astounded by that question.  (Now as far as the whole how old is old enough for FB debate my opinion is YOU know YOUR kids and what YOU are willing to do to police their FB use, so YOU know what is right for YOU)

But really?  Why shelter your kids?  Have you seen what is out there in the world?  I want my babies to always be the sweet, innocent, trustful, caring, people they were the day I brought them home from the hospital.  I know that isn't possible but why not do everything I can to make it last as long as I can?  How could you NOT shelter your kids?  There is so much hurt, anger, fear, and danger in the world how can you throw them out there without your protection?

So I am sorry kids but you might as well get used to the idea that I am going to be there.  I will always stand as the goalie trying to block all of the pain, hurt, disappointment, heartbreak, fear, and danger that tries to get in.  And I know I can't possibly block them all but I will also be there to pick up the pieces, to hold you and love you and tell you it will all be ok again.  I will make sure you are where you said you will be, I will demand to know all of your friends, I will check up on you, I will ask your teachers about you, I will give you curfews and demand to know your plans for the evening, I will require you to clean, do homework, be responsible, attend church, and help others who need it.

So I guess the answer I would give to the question "Why shelter your kids?" is "because I love them."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Heart Winslow!

We are a tiny little town, no movie theaters, shopping is Wal-Mart, no big chain restaurants besides fast food and Denny's, we aren't green and lush, we don't have a community center with classes and such and our parks are small at best.  Despite all of these cons, I love living in Winslow.

I grew up here and I had an amazing time doing it.  I went to elementary school, Jr. High, and High School here and was able to go through all of that with the same people and thereby develop friendships that still exist today.  I received a great education, went on to college and did well, graduating with honors from my university.  So did my brothers. One graduated from ASU and the other is a graduate of The United States Air Force Academy.  We are the first generation in our family to go to college.

While growing up in Winslow I learned to play the piano, the violin, the cello, and the bass.  I took voice lessons and dance lessons.  I was involved in several plays and competed in both speech and drama.  I was able to participate in the sports programs in Winslow.  I played soccer, basketball, volleyball, and was on the track team.  I was a cheerleader, THE Bulldog ;), and a photographer for the yearbook thanks to my friend who happened to be the editor.  Every guy and several of the girls I grew up with served honorable missions.  I am still friends with the people I played with in Primary, whose families and mine got together almost every Sunday for games and ice cream.  I still look at their parents and know that if I ever needed anything I could ask Marshall, Curtis, Gary, Loren, Kathy, Charlie, Joe, Gene, Jeff, etc., etc., and they would help me.  Because they are that kind of people.  And that, right there, is why I love Winslow.

Now that I am the parent I am excited for my kids to have the foundation that I was blessed to have growing up here.  Now we are the ones who invite others over for games and food, trying to develop those kinds of life long bonds that are formed in a small town where you have to interact with each other to be entertained.  We have amazing friends here.  We have wonderful family here.

Our kids have had teachers who have gone above and beyond to provide all that they can for my children.  Our kids' school principals know every kid in their school by first name and make a point to interact with each kid daily.

Are there downsides to Winslow?  Absolutely.  But I have yet to find a place that didn't have its cons.  My husband has a job where we could live anywhere in the state and probably make more money there too.  But we will not leave Winslow, by choice.  I love the security of being surrounded by family and friends who feel like family.  That is why I Heart Winslow. :)