Each year, when the weather gets colder and December approaches, many Americans who celebrate Christmas will get together to decorate a Christmas tree. But why in the world do we decorate these (often artificial) fir trees in the first place?
It turns out, the meaning behind Christmas trees as holiday decor goes back further than you might realize.
Both the ancient Egyptians and Romans saw the bright hue of plants that remained green all year, such as palm rushes and evergreen boughs, as a way to give warmth and hope to people during the winter, according to History.com.
Ancient people would mark the winter solstice (the shortest day and longest night of the year, which typically falls on December 21 or December 22) by using evergreens. These plants served as a sunny reminder that other greens would grow again once spring and summer returned.
People in some countries believed evergreens stood for everlasting life and even had the ability to ward off evil spirits and illnesses—another reason for the tradition of hanging evergreen boughs above doorways and inside homes.
Some say the first-ever Christmas tree was in London, near what is now Leadenhall Market. However, it seems it was a one-time trend, as Christmas trees wouldn’t be back in Britain until the 19th century.
Many believe Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, began the tradition of adding lighted candles to a tree, which is why we decorate trees with strands of lightbulbs today. The story goes that while Luther was walking home one winter evening, he saw twinkling stars among evergreens and wanted to re-create the magical moment for his family.
While Christmas trees were appearing in Germany years earlier, the trend really caught on after writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited Strasbourg, near the German border, and included the concept in his novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther.
The first record of a decorated evergreen tree in America was that of German settlers in Pennsylvania.
Queen Victoria, German Prince Albert, and their children were shown standing around a Christmas tree in the Illustrated London News. Because Victoria was very popular with her subjects at that time, the Christmas tree trend took off in both Britain and the East Coast of the United States.
When Edward H. Johnson, the vice president of Edison’s Electric Light company, decorated a tree with 80 red, white, and blue lightbulbs and displayed it in his New York City window, a newspaper in Detroit helped him earn the title “Father of the Electric Christmas Tree.”
Some Americans were still skeptical about using electric lights on their Christmas trees, although apparently not President Grover Cleveland. He is said to have introduced the first electrically lit White House Christmas tree.
General Electric began selling Christmas light kits so that people could decorate their Christmas trees more easily than ever.
But it was Albert Sadacca who is believed to have really made Christmas tree lights mainstream. The New York teenager had heard about a candlelit tree that burst into flames and started stringing lights for his family’s novelty business. Painting the bulbs proved to be the ticket—and one day his business became NOMA Electric Company (National Outfit Manufacturer’s Association), the largest Christmas light manufacturer in the world for many years.
The first Christmas tree went up in Rockefeller Center—only it was a lot smaller than the ones debuted these days. And instead of an official lighting before a crowd of spectators, this one was orchestrated by construction workers.
Two years later, a lighted tree was placed in Rockefeller Center, sparking the city’s annual tradition.
After a rich history, Christmas trees (both real and artificial) have become the centerpiece of the season—and a classic Christmas tradition that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
What is bonfire night?
November 5 – which this year falls on a Saturday – commemorates the failure of the November 1605 Gunpowder Plot by a gang of Roman Catholic activists led by Warwickshire-born Robert Catesby.
When Protestant King James I acceded to the throne, English Catholics had hoped that the persecution they had felt for over 45 years under Queen Elizabeth I would finally end, and they would be granted the freedom to practice their religion.
When this didn’t transpire, a group of conspirators resolved to assassinate the King and his ministers by blowing up the Palace of Westminster during the state opening of Parliament.
Guy (Guido) Fawkes, from York, and his fellow conspirators, having rented out a house close to the Houses of Parliament, managed to smuggle 36 barrels of gunpowder into a cellar of the House of Lords – enough to completely destroy the building.
(Physicists from the Institute of Physics later calculated that the 2,500kg of gunpowder beneath Parliament would have obliterated an area 500 metres from the centre of the explosion).
The scheme began to unravel when an anonymous letter was sent to William Parker, the 4th Baron Monteagle, warning him to avoid the House of Lords.
The letter (which could well have been sent by Lord Monteagle’s brother-in-law Francis Tresham), was made public and this led to a search of Westminster Palace in the early hours of November 5.
Explosive expert Fawkes, who had been left in the cellars to set off the fuse, was caught when a group of guards discovered him at the last moment.
Fawkes was arrested, sent to the Tower of London and tortured until he gave up the names of his fellow plotters.
Lord Monteagle was rewarded with £500 plus £200 worth of lands for his service in protecting the crown.
Who were the Gunpowder Plot conspirators?
Guy Fawkes, Thomas Bates, Robert and Thomas Wintour, Thomas Percy, Christopher and John Wright, Francis Tresham, Everard Digby, Ambrose Rookwood, Robert Keyes, Hugh Owen, John Grant and the man who organised the whole plot – Robert Catesby.
The conspirators were all either killed resisting capture or – like Fawkes – tried, convicted, and executed.
The traditional death for traitors in 17th-century England was to be hanged, drawn and quartered in public. But this proved not to be the 35-year-old Fawkes’s fate.
As he awaited his punishment on the gallows, Fawkes leapt off the platform to avoid having his testicles cut off, his stomach opened and his guts spilled out before his eyes.
Mercifully for him, he died from a broken neck but his body was subsequently quartered, and his remains were sent to “the four corners of the kingdom” as a warning to others.
Following the failed plot, Parliament declared November 5th a national day of thanksgiving, and the first celebration of it took place in 1606.
Following the plot, King James I sought to control non-conforming English Catholics in England. In May 1606, Parliament passed ‘The Popish Recusants Act’ which required any citizen to take an oath of allegiance denying the Pope’s authority over the king.
Observance of the 5th November Act, passed within months of the plot, made church attendance compulsory on that day and by the late 17th Century, the day had gained a reputation for riotousness and disorder and anti-Catholicism. William of Orange’s birthday (November 4th) was also conveniently close.
Guy Fawkes Day today
The Houses of Parliament are still searched by the Yeomen of the Guard before the state opening, which has been held in November since 1928. The idea is to ensure no modern-day Guy Fawkes is hiding in the cellars with a bomb, although it is more ceremonial than serious. And they do it with lanterns.
The cellar that Fawkes tried to blow up no longer exists. In 1834 it was destroyed in a fire which devastated the medieval Houses of Parliament.
Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated in the United Kingdom, and in a number of countries that were formerly part of the British Empire, with fireworks, bonfires and parades. Straw dummies representing Fawkes are tossed on the bonfire, as well as those of contemporary political figures.
Dummies have been burned on bonfires since as long ago as the 13th century, initially to drive away evil spirits. Following the Gunpowder Plot, the focus of the sacrifices switched to Guy Fawkes’ treason.
Traditionally, these effigies called ‘guys’, are carried through the streets in the days leading up to Guy Fawkes Day and children ask passers-by for “a penny for the guy.” Today the word ‘guy’ is a synonym for ‘a man’ but originally it was a term for an “repulsive, ugly person” in reference to Fawkes. The fireworks represent the explosives that were never used by the plotters.
In Ottery St Mary, south Devon, in a tradition dating from the 17th century, barrels soaked in tar are set alight and carried aloft through parts of the town by residents. Only Ottregians – those born in the town, or who have lived there for most of their lives – may carry a barrel. Lewes, in southeastern England, is also the site of annual celebration. Guy Fawkes Day there has a distinctly local flavour, involving six bonfire societies whose memberships are grounded in family history stretching back for generations. The only place in the UK that does not celebrate Guy Fawkes Night is his former school St. Peter’s in York. They refuse to burn a guy out of respect for one of their own.
At a glance – 7 things you never knew about Guy Fawkes
- 1. Guy Fawkes did not die from being hung, drawn and quartered:
- As he awaited his grisly punishment on the gallows, Fawkes leapt to his death – to avoid the horrors of having his testicles cut off, his stomach opened and his guts spilled out before his eyes. He died from a broken neck.
- 2. Guy Fawkes was not the Gunpowder Plot’s ringleader:
- There were 13 conspirators in the plot, which was masterminded by Robert Catesby, a charismatic Catholic figure who had a reputation for speaking out against the English crown. But it was Fawkes who gained notoriety after the plot was foiled, for he was caught after sneaking into the cellar beneath the House of Lords to ignite the explosives.
- 3. Guy Fawkes won the unlikely admiration of King James I:
- Fawkes withstood two full days of torture and expressed his regret at having failed his mission. His steadfast manner earned him the praise of King James, who described Fawkes as possessing “a Roman resolution”.
- 4. Guy Fawkes has an island named after him:
- He is one of Britain’s most infamous villains, whose effigy has been burned and whose demise has been publicly celebrated for more than four centuries. Yet to the north-west of Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands, a collection of two uninhabited, crescent-shaped islands is named Isla Guy Fawkes, or Guy Fawkes Island.
- 5. The Houses of Parliament are still searched once a year to make sure there are no conspirators hiding with explosives:
- Before the annual State Opening of Parliament, the Yeomen of the Guard search the Houses of Parliament to make sure there are no would-be conspirators hiding in the cellars. This has become more of a tradition than a serious anti-terrorist precaution.
- 6. The cellar that Fawkes tried to blow up no longer exists:
- It was destroyed in a fire in 1834 that devastated the medieval Houses of Parliament.
- 7. The gunpowder would have done little damage to Parliament:
- The 36 barrels of gunpowder that Fawkes planted in a cellar below the Houses of Parliament would have been sufficient to raze it to the ground, while causing severe damage to neighbouring buildings. However, some experts now claim that the gunpowder had “decayed”, and would not have properly exploded even if ignited.
Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.
Ancient Origins of Halloween
Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.
By 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.
On May 13, 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church. Pope Gregory III (731–741) later expanded the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs, and moved the observance from May 13 to November 1. By the 9th century the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted the older Celtic rites. In 1000 A.D., the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It is widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. All Souls Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.
Halloween Comes to America
Celebration of Halloween was extremely limited in colonial New England because of the rigid Protestant belief systems there. Halloween was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups as well as the American Indians meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included “play parties,” public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland’s potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors.
In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations. Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.
By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday.
Today’s Halloween Traditions
The American Halloween tradition of “trick-or-treating” probably dates back to the early All Souls’ Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called “soul cakes” in return for their promise to pray for the family’s dead relatives. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as “going a-souling” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money.
The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.
Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world. Today’s Halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too. We avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the Middle Ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats. We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred; it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe. And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt.
But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today’s trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married. In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it. In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl’s future husband. (In some versions of this legend, confusingly, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.) Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband. Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands’ initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands’ faces. Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.
Of course, whether we’re asking for romantic advice or trying to avoid seven years of bad luck, each one of these Halloween superstitions relies on the good will of the very same “spirits” whose presence the early Celts felt so keenly.
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have recently highlighted the importance of taking baby and toddler CPR lessons on their respective Instagram accounts by revealing that they had both recently taken a course, and urging fellow parents to get involved.
Blake, 29, wrote alongside a picture with showed her with several training dummies: “ALL MAMAS AND DADDIES OUT THERE– I can’t recommend this enough, I took a CPR class with with a focus on babies and toddlers. Google “infant CPR class near me” and you’ll see lots of listings. For those of you who haven’t done it, you will love it. It’s so helpful by giving you knowledge, tools, and some peace of mind.”
The couple, who are parents to two daughters, know the importance of first aid – Ryan, 40, revealed in his post that he had helped save his nephew’s life thanks to a past CPR lesson, but was taking a refresher course focused on infant and toddler CPR, to further enhance his knowledge and skills.
With research showing that 74% of parents say the first aid emergency they fear the most is finding their baby unresponsive, St John Ambulance has issued first aid advice on what to do if a baby or child is unresponsive and not breathing.
How to do Baby CPR (under the age of one)
If your baby is not responding to you and they are not breathing, follow these steps to perform CPR:
- Call 999/112 for emergency help: If you are on your own, give 1 minute of CPR before calling on a speaker phone.
- Give 5 initial puffs over the mouth and nose.
- Give 30 chest pumps using two fingers at a rate of 100-120 pumps per minute.
- Repeat: give 2 puffs followed by 30 pumps. (30:2)
Starting school can be a difficult time for children. Every child is hesitant to go somewhere new and see people she’s never met before. Here are some helpful ways to prepare your child for her first day of school:
1. Let your child know what his schedule will be like. Tell him what time school begins and ends each day.
2. Ask your child about her feelings — both the excitement and the concerns — about starting school.
3. Visit the school with your child to see his new classroom and meet his new teacher before school officially starts.
4. Point out the positive aspects of starting school. It will be fun and she can make new friends.
5. Let your child know that all kids are nervous about the first day of school.
6. Leave a note in your child’s lunchbox that will remind him you’re thinking of him while he’s at school.
7. Reassure your child that if any problems arise at school, you will be there to help resolve them.
8. Try to have your child meet a classmate before the first day of school so she will already have a friend when school starts.
9. Arrange for your child to walk to school or ride together on the bus with another kid in the neighborhood.
10. Find out about after-school activities that your child can join. Will there be a back-to-school party? Can she join a sports team?
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5-12, by Edward L. Schor (Bantam, 1999)
As we get older and our age heads north, other things head south. Bums get bigger and flabbier, our muffin top tends to start spilling over our jeans and, a real problem for women, boobs begin to sag. No matter where you end up in the cleavage spectrum, be it the slender bee-stings of a Kiera Knightley or the voluptuous, round mammaries of a Kim Kardashian, in the end only cosmetic surgery or the world’s best Wonderbra can stop the slide.
Or is that the case? If you can afford it, silicone supplements to boost your bust can be an answer but if not, there are more fun, and possibly a bit extreme (if less effective) ways for ladies out there to ensure nipples are staring in front rather than at the floor.
- Tie balloons to your boobs
Balloons on your balloons? It sounds weird but still possible; a simple ‘string on the nipple’ method with a balloon on each end. Upsides are that this method will certainly keep you perky. but downsides include having two balloons sticking out from your shirt looks ridiculous and if you use helium balloons, there’s the possibility you could end up with a charge of public indecency (not to mention rope burns on your areolas).
- Boob push ups
A while back a woman became an internet sensation when she made her boobs dance, so why not have them perform push ups? Sure it might take a lot of squeezing and flexing but if achieved, it could start a new exercise sensation.
- Hire a man (or woman)!
This is a more effective and intimate solution, but still an idea. Hiring someone might seem like a possibility open to those who are well-to-do and can afford to have a servant for such a menial task, but in reality it’s a job which, if available, would certainly do something to reduce the unemployment rate, particularly among the male and lesbian population!
- A boob shelf
A simple bit of carpentry might be the answer to the prayers of the boobylicious. A 2×4 hung around the neck by a string makes for a good sagging deterrent and, if necessary, somewhere to hang your cereal when eating breakfast! Beware of splinters!
Certainly an extreme idea, but since boobs flop around when women sleep, no position is a plus when trying to stop this. Plus it’s a good way of stopping them from falling into your armpits when sleeping on your back.
- Wear a bra – always
Yes, the thing which is supposed to keep your breasts in place is probably the best idea, only all the time. It’s widely known among women that their best feeling of the day is when they can finally unhook their ‘over shoulder boulder holder’ and let the ‘girls’ roam free, but doing so contributes to sagging. Find a comfortable bra and keeping it on is a plus.
- Avoid bouncy exercise.
Keeping fit is a must for most people today, but if you have boobs it just might be dangerous. All that bouncing up and down while performing activities like running, getting on a trampoline, or jumping in any way not only might damage a few ligaments, it might also cause damage in other places. Injuries include (if you’re particularly stacked) black eyes, nipple chafing and bruising passers-by if they get too close!
- Keep your hands above your head at all times
Certainly this idea will make your cleavage and boobs look a lot perkier, especially in a low cut top, and give your arms a much needed workout. A good deodorant is a must when trying out this method!
- Massage your boobs with a feather
Our last method is probably our most bonkers. Indeed there’s no scientific proof that this will actually make your boobs perkier, but some sites say that they will get bigger. They’ll certainly be more ticklish, which is why it should probably be confined to the bedroom with your partner
Parenting can be a wonderful and challenging experience at the best of times. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, to giving birth, figuring out what’s the best diapers these days or for first time parents, OMG, can I do this? Are we ready?
Now keep in mind all those questions and lets add another layer. What kind of questions goes through the minds of those parents that may have a disability? My main focus will be on blind parents, but I am more than willing/happy to do research and answer questions or provide helpful tips for any parent with a disability.
Are you someone with a disability and wonder:
who can you go to for answers?
Is there anyone out there that will understand what I’m going through?
What my fears are?
Are you a first time parent and thinking:
Oh dear, how do I give medicine?
What’s the best way to change my child’s diaper?
Am I able to help my child with their school work?
These are just some of the things that come up in day to day life as a parent and I hope to be able to share some of my knowledge with you readers. Do you know anyone that is a parent with a disability? If so, make sure you tell them about this beginning article.
My name is May and I am a blind parent with 2 adorable children. One girl age 10, and one boy age 15. My boyfriend and I now are getting ready to go through the adoption process and that will bring on all new challenges and questions. If you have topics you’d like for me to try and address feel free to let me know!
I get asked a lot about how I lost my sight and the group it has the most impact on are young school aged children. This is not a story to engender pity, but to educate, to drive home that tragedy/accidents can happen anywhere.
As a child we always think nothing bad can happen to us. We go through life thinking that anything bad will happen to everyone else and that there are no consequences to our actions.
I remember the age of when my life changed forever! I was 12 years old when my world was turned upside down. A teenage boy was dared by another teenager to push me off the top of a slide. One of the very tall twisty ones. During this time slides were on concrete and not soft sand. There was no where for me to go. I heard the dare, flying through the air and then waking up in the hospital.
I woke up strapped down in a hospital bed and everything was black. I panicked! I called out and no one answered for at least 5 minutes. When they finally did I was told what happened, that I had patches on my eyes and was strapped down so that I wouldn’t try and take the patches off. Of course this just made me more upset and I panicked even harder.
For a long time after that event I was severely depressed. I had no idea how I would cope. For me my life was over! Thanks to 2 very good friends of mine I was made to see that I could still do all the things I loved. I just had to find another way of doing them!
As you can see my story was not an accident, but done on purpose. Maybe that boy didn’t know how bad things would turn out, but he had to know what he was doing was wrong somewhere. All the times adults say “don’t rough house in the playground” is for a good reason.
Tragedy/accidents can happen anywhere!