On his eighth day of life, a newborn Jewish boy is taken to his family’s synagogue. His mother hands him to the kvatters, who place him in the Chair of Elijah for his bris. So begins the Jewish ritual of circumcision, which tradition says seals Abraham’s covenant with God as described in Genesis 17. A Muslim family teaches their sons that the Prophet Muhammad was born without a foreskin. To emulate the prophet, Muslim boys are circumcised, usually in a hospital, sometime before the age of 12. People of many cultures and religions, including Jews, Muslims, ancient Egyptians and tribal people around the world, have practiced male circumcision for centuries. No one knows for sure exactly when it started, but some historians say it may have begun as a puberty rite among Australian aboriginal tribes in 10,000 BC. Later, tribes in Northern East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula would adopt the practice. Circumcision has fallen in and out of favor throughout history, but the story of its introduction to nonreligious, Western populations is interesting. Outside of Jewish and Muslim communities, it was uncommon to routinely circumcise boys until the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when doctors began promoting it as a way to prevent masturbation and some diseases.
Readers, I have bad news. There has been a terrible tragedy. You see, a few days ago, in an attempt to afford my children time to play in the fresh air and sunshine, I took them to the park. It started off well enough. We arrived to the playground with minimal whining and only one threat of disownment. Not exactly Nobel-worthy, but pretty good for us. So the kids ran and played and skinned their knees. Raymond praised himself for his cartwheeling prowess. Sophia read her book under a tree while deftly avoiding the social death that would certainly come from accepting Emma's invitation to play colonial times. And Gianni chatted up a little girl about his potty training regimen. (He gets 1 M&M for pee, 3 for poop, FYI.)
Almost exactly four years ago, on a sunny June day in a beautiful Atlantic beach town, I thought my life was ending. My son, Raymond, who was just a few weeks from his third birthday, disappeared on a crowded boardwalk. We’d just gotten off the Jolly Trolley at the boardwalk — Raymond, his two older sisters, my husband and I. For less than a minute, my husband and I took our eyes off the kids while we discussed where we wanted to eat dinner. Less than a minute. How many times have you taken your eyes off your child in a public place for a few seconds? You dig through your purse at the grocery store. You text your spouse. You crane your neck, searching for the other mom you were supposed to meet for lunch.
*This post is excerpted from an article I wrote for todaysparent.com. From standardized tests and heavy homework loads to after-school sports and tutors, elementary-aged children are taking on more responsibilities than ever before. Despite the popular notion that kids today are coddled, many experts believe they are actually under more stress than previous generations. Read … Continue reading Today’s Parent: Are Academic Demands and Over-scheduling Stressing Kids Out?
Hello, hello! It's time for another rendition of "Interview with the Humor Blogger!" Today, I'm talking with Marie from Midlife Dramas in Pyjamas. She's a midlife blogger, big knickers wearer, gin drinker, cocktail lover, delusional dancer, reluctant gym goer, teens & hubby tamer, and cantankerous cat owner. On occasion she goes out in her pyjama top – needs must… Let's get to know her, shall we?
Hey, hey! I've been on a break for a couple of weeks, but now it's time to bring back my humor blogger interviews! Today, I'm talking to Cookie Kibbles from Not an Effing Fairy Tale. She's a former stand up comic turned stay at home mum blogger from the U.K. Let's learn about her, shall we?
"Hey! How is homeschool going?" Such an innocent question. And yet, there are so many not-so-innocent words I want to throw out in response.
Today, we had a guy from Sears come out to look at our washer. It's not agitating, draining, or spinning, so it's full of dirty water from our last load of laundry. The "repair guy," (and I use that term loosely) told me that he wasn't sure when they'd get the part in, so we … Continue reading How NOT to Sell Your Manly Services to the Lady of the House
Since I started blogging, I have talked to so many people who have told me, "I'd love to start a blog! I have so many ideas about fitness/fashion/parenting/crafting/name-your-topic, and I think I could really help people! The only problem is, I'm not so sure about my writing skills." The good news is, writing is a skill that can be learned, honed, and not-quite-perfected-but-close. (You're not a real writer until you've learned to obsess over words and paragraphs, never quite feeling like the piece is done until you hit a deadline and have to just STOP TINKERING AND SUBMIT THE THING ALREADY!) With that in mind, I've decided to start a new series on my blog called Writerly Wednesdays. My intention is to help bloggers improve their writing skills to make your posts as engaging, entertaining, and un-put-downable as possible.