How to protect your kids with #saynoandtell

Women everywhere shared brave stories of everything from “putting up with” to surviving sexual abuse with the #metoo campaign in 2017, bringing attention to the severity of a widespread yet “hush hush” problem. You probably saw social media posts of friends, neighbors, teachers, or peers you never would have known suffered through some kind of sexual abuse coming forward to share that, yes…”me, too.” Brave, sad, enraging, despicable, inhumane – these were all words that came to mind as I read these #metoo stories.

It got me thinking about my own passion for humans and feminism, but more importantly after becoming a mom, it got me thinking about my kids. My two girls, specifically. While I applaud all the women for coming forward and appreciate having a platform to share the problem in an explosive way, I just kept coming back to my kids. My girls. Stories I’ve heard. Things that have been said to me. I don’t want them to join a #metoo campaign years from now. I don’t want to applaud their bravery or feel sad and enraged. I want it to stop. I need it to stop for them and all the little innocent boys and girls who grow into vulnerable teens. I need it to stop because it just has to.

A letter to Grandpa

Dear Grandpa,

Everyone thinks their grandpa is the best, and that’s really nice and everything, but the truth is, mine actually was the best.

You were the actual best grandpa, great grandfather, dad, neighbor, worker, and friend. You’re the man everyone aspires to be, the one great character every reader is completely enamored with and that every author hopes to write about – but quite honestly, it may be impossible for even the best writer to capture your wit, smarts, quirks, and charm.

Last night, you died, and when I held your hand, it was still so big and warm, just like always. You looked like you; you still looked so handsome; you looked finally at rest. I can still feel you holding my hands, cupping them around mine since I was a kid to keep me warm, and until the very end, you were still my warm protector.

4 common grammar mistakes (and how to fix them).

Even before I became a high school English teacher, I felt passionately about correct grammar. Strangely enough, I never received strong formal grammar instruction in school because when you were in the advanced English classes, the emphasis was on reading, critical thinking, and writing.

As any avid readers can relate, grammar and vocabulary comes more naturally the more you read because you internalize the rules and words in practical action. I think grammar and vocabulary are actually more effective this way. Although, admittedly, I do not know all the grammar rules and crazy nuances that come with our wonderful English language, I actually do not think they are all that important.

Woah.

Did the English teacher really just say that? Yes, I sure did. Let me explain though. I value being able to write and speak compelling arguments. How compelling will your argument be if you have incorrect spelling, poor grammar, and limited vocabulary? Not very, you guessed it.

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