Raising daughters is a joy. Nothing prepares a dad for the rush of feelings that accompany holding your baby girl for the first time. But along with the joy, comes the questions. How do you protect her from harm, set her on a good path, and help her become the woman God has designed her to be? You can use your guy instincts with your boys, but how do you guide your daughter?
Any news, mother?" asked Edna one Friday afternoon when she came home from school. "There's a letter from grandma," replied Mrs. Conway after kissing the lips held up to hers. "There isn't any real news in it, but there is an invitation." "What kind of an invitation?" "A Thanksgiving kind." "Oh, mother, what do you mean?" "I mean that grandma wants us all to spend an old-fashioned Thanksgiving with her; the kind she used to have when she was young. She says she and grandpa are both getting old and they may not be able to have the whole family there together again." "And are we going?" "Yes, I think so." "The whole family?" "I think perhaps you and I will go on a day or two ahead and let the others follow. Celia and the boys can come with your father, who probably could not get off till Wednesday afternoon. Grandma asks that I bring my baby with me." "And that means me," returned Edna, hugging herself. "How long shall we stay, mother?" "That depends upon several things which will have to be learned later, so I can't tell just yet." Edna danced off to hunt up her brothers that she might tell them the news. She found them in their little workshop over the stable. Charlie was making a new box to put in his pigeon house and Frank was watching him. They had not seen their little sister since Monday for she and her sister Celia went to school in the city, remaining until the Friday afternoon of each week.
The 1960's ushered in one of the most quickly wide-spread trends up until that time...the American cowboy. This was due in part to the acquisition of television into many of the homes of the baby boomers. All of us who were 'cowboys' during this time still feel a connection with each other. From that vantage point we moved on to the days of go-go boots and from there to being flower children and wearing peace symbols and fringed vests. Our clothing became a way of expressing who we are at an individual level, rather than just an expression of our class or socio-economic status, as had been the case in the past. We enjoyed being able to express both our collective spirit and our individual natures through our clothing choices. Perhaps we haven't always realized the extent to which clothing trends and experiences shape us into the people that we become on the inside. Is it possible that our character and integrity are affected by something as simple as our clothing? It's worth thinking about and remembering those significant clothing experiences along the way.
Here are the baby's things, but where's the baby? Toddlers lift the flaps andfind her.
While writing columns for the Virgin Islands Daily News over the last seven years, I received much favorable feedback from readers. If an article addressed an issue that was currently in the news, many said that I had put into print exactly what they too had been thinking. Concerning personal reflections on family and life in general, again, many stopped to remark positively on how their lives, if just for a brief moment, were touched by what they had read. Recently, I was reminded of Stepping Out of the Box by an acquaintance who also has a fear of driving on the mainland, and how much she had identified with the article as she read it three years ago! In my second year of writing, people started to name their favorite column. If none appeared for two to three months, I was stopped regularly on the street and prompted to write soon. One year, My Grandfather's Letter was read to a class at a local elementary school during Reading is Fundamental Week, and, a secondary school teacher once stopped me to relate how Mbube and the Zulu was the topic of discussion one day in her Social Studies class. The students wanted to continue even after the bell had rung! A male reader once sought the Daily News' assistance in contacting me after reading When the Men We Love.Lie - he had a story to share about the opposite side of the spectrum! This consistent feedback over the years motivated me to continue writing about issues I felt were meaningful and informational to the reading public and at the same time, gave me a sense of pride and fulfillment. For these reasons, I decided to compile all forty articles into one easy-to-read keepsake, with personal photographs, for those who have faithfullyread them over the years and who may enjoy reading them again. Personally, I also wanted to broaden my horizon by reaching out to a first-time reading audience, both in and out of the islands. While some of the topics are of course dated, lively discussions can be gene
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