I want to love early morning … but we just haven’t found our groove together yet. That being said, so far, I seem to be doing okay as a night owl.
I’m counting my blessings this month even as I run around stressing about getting everything done: the shopping, the wrapping, the end-of-year sales and finances, the travel plans, etc. But I’m not forgetting how, even though I’m crazed, I’m extremely lucky. I have a warm home – in both temperature and spirit, a great marriage, two glorious children, great and patient friends, a thriving business on my own terms, fabulous employees, a supportive extended family, three dogs who make me crazy but are great for cuddling, and much, much more.
As I look around this month and count my blessings more than usual, I also want to give back as a way of saying “thanks” to the universe/Kismet, etc. It’s easier than ever these days – so no excuses. Click on any of the URLs below to share the spirit this holiday season – and always, for that matter.
- Support research for many medical causes. My personal passions: Alzheimer’s and Cancer.
- Be the example to a teen at risk.
- Boston’s very own Globe Santa can use your help for granting holiday wishes to needy families.
- Californian? Shop at Out of the Closet thrift stores to support AIDS Healthcare
Foundation through proceeds
- Choose a volunteer project or go local – do something in your town
- Keep us all healthy – donate for vaccinations against deadly diseases
- See clearly – donate your old eye glasses
- Keep walking – donate old shoes
- Nature matters – protect rain forests
- You can provide a month of care for sexual slavery victims
- Not flying this season? Donate your frequent flyer miles to families of injured soldiers
- Each year the average teacher spends over $659 from their own pocket to buy classroom materials; you can help locally or otherwise
- eBay isn’t just for buying; sell gifts online, too – a percentage of sales goes to charities of your choice
- Enjoying your family at the holidays? Our homesick troops aren’t so lucky – help brighten their holiday
- Give blood
- Education matters – support a future college student
- Help time pass for a hospital-bound child
- Brides Against Breast Cancer can use your gown
- My Mom’s Golden is a therapy dog; yours can be too
- Send your old laptop to a child
- Shopping anyway so why not donate a portion of what you buy this season by shopping here
- Support the need for medical supplies for children
- Upgrade your car or mobile phone and donate the old one for domestic violence victims
- Warm and cozy? Many are not. Donate stuffed animals, baby blankets, and children’s books
My five-year-old started kindergarten this year. He’s a good kid – very polite, thoughtful, caring and sensitive. But he’s also loud, stubborn and intelligent – and craves a good deal of attention (I have no idea where he got those attributes….).
He’s had a hard time adjusting to the rules. He tends to interrupt, can’t keep his hands to himself and is not one to hold back his opinions even when the teacher is talking. He’s had a few outbursts – controlling his emotions is also something he’s trying to learn. We are working closely with his teacher to try and help him through positive parenting and reinforcement. But it hasn’t been easy. I am not an overly-emotional woman but it’s hard to hold back tears when the teacher is telling me that she’s had to place him at his own work table because otherwise he gets into trouble.
And then this week The New York Times indicated – as my husband often does – that I shouldn’t worry so much. With his article, “Bad Behavior Does Not Doom Pupils, Studies Say,” Benedict Carey indicated that two new studies highlight that children entering school with behavior problems are not doomed to fall behind in the upper grades – as many educators and psychologists had historically indicated.
Not that I thought my boy would fail but I was starting to worry about his future label as class clown, and what that might mean for his dedication to learning.
One study concluded that kindergartners who are identified as troubled do as well academically as their peers in elementary school. In fact, Sharon Landesman Ramey, director of the Georgetown University Center on Health and Education, was quoted as saying “I think these may become landmark findings, forcing us to ask whether these acting-out kinds of problems are secondary to the inappropriate maturity expectations that some educators place on young children as soon as they enter classrooms.”
Based on a lot of men that I know, maturity (or lack thereof) has no bearing on intelligence and success!