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Archive for December, 2010

A Year in Pictures

Friday, December 24th, 2010 by:

There’s something about the end of the year that makes us want to partake in rituals. For me, one of the things I love doing is looking through photo archives of the past year. The joyous occasions make me want to celebrate again, while the tragic ones make me feel even more blessed for what I have.

Few pictures have affected me the way this Haiti photo by Damon Winter for the New York Times has. I don’t know any parent who wouldn’t be destroyed by this image of of a father grieving over the body of a 10-month-old daughter, tossed in a heap after the January earthquake.

I invite all of you to share links to photos that have affected you. Joyous or tragic–they are reminders of how precious life is and how we need to be thankful every day for the blessings we have.

Damon Winter photo for the New York Times

Damon Winter photo for the New York Times

Infant Athletes

Friday, December 17th, 2010 by:

It’s easy to laugh at Modern Family’s gay dads as they panic over getting their precious Lily into the right preschool, but how far is this sitcom scenario from reality? I enrolled my boys almost a year in advance at my preschool of choice and was still on the wait list in August (luckily they both made it in).

Our fear of having our offspring “fall behind” extends beyond ABCs and 123s. The latest drive to junior perfection is to turn our two-year-olds into mini sports protégées.

Increasing numbers of babies are being groomed as athletes before they can walk. Enrollment is skyrocketing in sport ball, swimming and gymnastics for the sub two-year-old sect. Videos such as gymtrix and Athletic Baby start athletic training and teaching sports fundamentals as early as three months. But is all this time and money worth it?

While I have to admit I’m guilty of enrolling both my boys in sports programs, I do it more for the socialization aspect than any hopes they’ll be the next Sidney Crosby. Having recently had my third, my stamina for attending skating and soccer is diminishing. Maybe it’s time to go back to old school playing. Allowing children to explore their environment and let them master walking before we start Olympic training.