Archive for Children

The day the world changed.

Posted in Life with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2013 by urbannight

I read a really powerful post and my reply got really long. I realized that I just wrote a blog of my own in that replay. It was about the day the world changed for me.

In 2nd grade, mom gave me some money to take my little sister to the bakery and get doughnuts. A few other neighborhood children went along. I led a gaggle of kids, aged 4 – 7, to the bakery so we could have a doughnut. It was a two-mile walk and I was the oldest in the group. Back in 1977, this was not considered strange. It was also a small town and the odds of running into people you knew were very high.

By 5th, or maybe 6th, grade it started to change. I rode my bike over to a friend’s house. She lived over a mile away. A guy in a car was driving really slow. It was very odd and caught my attention. We never had any of these ‘stranger danger’ warnings or anything like that back then. But it really put me on guard. He followed me a short distance and took some shortcuts through a couple wooded lots where a car couldn’t go and lost him. I got my friend’s house and told her about it.

We got on our bikes and headed to the drug store for some snacks and then head to the beach. Oddly enough, this big fancy drug store was in the building that used to be the bakery. The bakery closed and I think the new store was a Ben Franklin. Here, we ran into the same guy. He was wearing loose shorts that were too short and clearly no underwear. We could see the head of his wiener (to use the term of that era) hanging out of his shorts.

I don’t remember what all he tried to say to us, but I know my friend and I were being very uncooperative. He asked for directions to the beach. This was a small town and the beach was very obvious and was probably the most distinctive feature of our town. This told us that he was probably not a local person. We told him were it was and raced our bikes back to my friend’s house and totally skipped the beach.

We played at her house for a while and then I went home, riding my bike as fast as I could, keeping a lookout for that car. I had been a little freaked out when the creep had followed me earlier and then turned up at the store. The next day at school, my friend told me that she had told her mom about it. Her mom had heard on the news that night that the guy had been arrested for bothering girls at the beach. Girls as in late grade-school to middle school age rather than girls as in females in general.

This was the day that my worldview changed and the world went from a basically safe place (meaning that sometimes people were mean and you were not always happy but you were ‘safe) to a dangerous place where you didn’t trust strangers and you paid a lot more attention to the people who you knew but you didn’t like.

It was about the same time that the After School Specials t.v. show started to air and talk about stories of abuse, neglect, and other stuff that people normally didn’t talk about.

I now think about how much the world seems to have changed. Once, a child of 7 could lead other children, who were practically toddlers still, on a 2 mile walk back then and now parents can’t even let kids play outside without parental supervision.  I hear about all the bad things happening to kids these days and have to wonder, was it really safer back then, or did we just never hear about it so we thought it was safer?  I suspect it was never really as ‘safe’ as we thought it was.

And the Children Sing

Posted in Advertising, Education, Life, Politics, Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2012 by urbannight

Watercolor (?) depicting Children Marching and Singing “Onward Christian Soldiers”.

Photo of Islamic Children Marching and Singing

There is an article where people are concerned that Muslim children are being taught to stand in ranks and walk around singing songs about Islam.   It is a ‘discipleship’ march through neighborhood “war zones,” proselytizing and teaching children to march and shout with them.  It is apparently a recruitment video shot during Ramadan.  One must note that it is the Narrator calling the neighborhood warzones and may not have been presented to the children as such.

I find it rather ironic.

Everyone who went to church as a child, even if they stopped along the way, remembers one particular hymn.  It’s nearly always sang when standing in rows and often is the closing hymn when people are filing out, in rank by rows, from the sanctuary.  It is a very militant song.

Onward, Christian soldiers Marching as to war With the cross of Jesus Going on before!

Christ, the royal Master Leads against the foe Forward into battle See, His banners go!

Onward, Christian soldiers Marching as to war With the cross of Jesus Going on before At the name of Jesus Satan’s host doth flee On then, Christian soldiers On to victory!

Hell’s foundations quiver At the shout of praise Brothers, lift your voices Loud your anthems raise Like a mighty army Moves the church of God Brothers we are treading Where the saints have trod

We are not divided All one body we One in hope and doctrine One in charity Crowns and thrones may perish Kingdoms rise and wane But the church of Jesus Constant will remain Gates of hell can never ‘Gainst that church prevail We have Christ’s own promise And that cannot fail

Onward, then, ye people! Join our happy throng Blend with ours your voices In the triumph-song Glory, laud, and honour Unto Christ the King! This through countless ages Men and angels sing

(something in the formating is wrong and every time I try to fix it I make it worse)

The message being taught is clear.  As you leave this church, in orderly rank and file, you are going out into the world and going into warfare.  The battle ground is the world and you must fight against the non-Christian with all you are worth.  Anything not Christian is of Hell.  You are to view every interaction as a fight against the ungodly.  Marching out as you are singing it helps to reinforce the militant aspect of this.

Does no one else remember marching to this in Vacation Bible School in the summertime?

Maybe other churches, other than my Methodist upbringing, don’t make it so obviously militant.  But what I read in that article doesn’t seem any different to me than what I was experiencing as a child.  I guess it is only alarming, scary, and concerning if it is another religion doing it but perfectly okay so long as Christians are doing it.

Hypocrisy much?

Random Factoid, WordPress’s dictionary doesn’t think  “hymn” is a word and wants to change it to “him”.

Obama, Sitting Bull, and Chocolate Milkshakes

Posted in Books, Education, Entertainment, Life, Politics, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on November 18, 2010 by urbannight

In grade school I read every book on Sitting Bull I could get my hands on. In Jr High I read every book I could find on Sitting Bull written for adult readers. I loved Sitting Bull and I truly believe he is a Hero. Especially if you take a good hard look at Custer’s history and the fact he was actually on punishment duty and was not supposed to be leading any men at all at the time.

It is ironic that Sitting Bull has been presented to school children as a great man for many years. All the sudden, because Obama has presented him as a hero to his children, people are now going to denegrate him? This is the apex of stupidity on the part of American people to suddenly decide someone is evil only because someone else they don’t like happens to value his role in history.

If Omaha likes chocolate milkshakes, are they all going to start villifying chocolate milkshakes and say that anyone who dislikes Obama must not drink them anymore?

When I started with Jason and the Argonauts I did not plan to end up at Wizard of Oz.

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , on September 10, 2010 by urbannight

Jason and The Argonauts is a great film.  To today’s movie viewers the special effects seem a bit on the corny side.  But for the time period, they were cutting edge. In fact, they had to invent a new method in order to film the skeleton fight scene.   My understanding of movie making is limited and basic.  But anyone with the smallest amount of understanding for the process should be able to watch this movie and realize that it is a great movie and not corny at all. 

 It is also not a children’s movie.  In fact, there is a very provocative dance in the film.  Perhaps not as provocative as in some of today’s movies, but still not something for you average 8 year old.  At the library back home, a very good inter-county library system, I was forever moving it from the children’s section of the library and returning it to the general section.  The cover looked somewhat cartoonish.  I don’t know if it was one of the other librarians who was constantly moving it because she had not seen it or if it was patron’s who saw the cartoonish art on the box cover and thought they were helping by moving it to the children’s bin.  Either way, I didn’t feel it belonged there.

 Our children’s section was pretty much geared for 11 year olds and below with a little bit bridging over into the pre-teens.  For the most part, the pre-teens were already shifting to teen/young adult materials.  Now I know I would have enjoyed the movie while still under 11 years of age.  But I was a pretty advanced child and my advanced reading level had introduced me to more adult themes. 

 Kids who still have trouble with the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz would probably have trouble with the skeletons in Jason and The Argonauts as well as other adult themes.  The Wizard of Oz is a kid’s movie when compared with the content of Jason and The Argonauts.  I’m not sure it was marketed as such when it was released. 

 Both are great classic movies.  Both are worth watching.  Just make sure that you understand where your child’s development is at if you are planning to introduce young children to either one.

There are tomatoes in my tomato sauce…

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , on August 25, 2010 by urbannight

Last week a coworker was talking about her son being upset that there were tomatoes in his spaghetti sauce.  Most of the people at the table were amazed.  Didn’t he know that spaghetti sauce was made out of tomatoes?

To me, the sentiment was completely understandable.  After all, as a child I once said,”There are tomatoes in my tomato sauce.”  I hate tomatoes.  I don’t particularily care for katsup.  I like chili, spaghetti sauce with meat and tomato soup.  I don’t watn little bits of tomato in my tomato based foods. 

If my mom used stewed tomatoes, she would put them in a blender.  I’ve done that a few times.  But using tomato sauce is faster and easier.  When I have spaghetti I like to make it thick with meat.  I’ve been accused of making spaghetti sauce flavored chili to put on my pasta.  When I have tomato soup, I like to add basil and then I put LOTS of crackers in it.

Mostly, I try to disguise anything tomato based.  I don’t want anything identifiable as a tomato in my sauce.