For LC, After Her First Birthday
What can I say about a toddler who eats zucchini “noodles”
with garlic sauce at the raw food restaurant
who signs “all done” when through eating and also means
all done with sitting in this bleeping high chair
so get me out of here fast mom or I’ll be yelling and I
mean really, really loud.
How much love is there in this child who waves and says
“Hi” to everyone she meets in the food co-op
who blows kisses to the dog in an adjacent car
who plays throw and retrieve the ball
with her dog-sister Maddy who may not be enjoying
the game quite that much, if at all.
Can you measure the determination powering this girl
who takes each challenge and wrestles it to the ground
until she triumphs over that chair she wants to climb into
or some step blocking her way or the yogurt she insists on
eating with her fingers and don’t help me at all, please,
you know I want to, have to, do it all myself
help. not. needed.
What lies out there in the world for this freshly formed person
who delights in each day and the wonders it will hold
who embraces the new and welcomes it to her heart
whose thirteen-month lifetime has grown butterfly wings
like silk so fragile and so incredibly strong
that will lift her gracefully until she is ready to soar.
August 1, 2010
All the teachers at Freedom 7 Elementary School in Cocoa Beach, FL, have large, oblong heads and big Cheshire-cat smiles that occupy the majority of their large, oblong heads. At least that’s how they are portrayed in the student-drawn portraits that tile the school’s administrative office.
The office door opens. “OK, you all can follow me,” says a woman with a walkie-talkie. (Not smiling; typical cranial shape.) She’s taking a gaggle of parents on a tour. We stroll down Creativity Court (all of the school’s walkways have names like this), and pop in and out of classrooms. Piles of nails, screws, pennies, and keys sit on the counter of the science laboratory. Inside the library, a poster of a Magic Marker-ed snake reads “Got Ssss-shots?” (The students have been learning about poverty and disease.) The playground is on the corner of Appreciation Avenue and Integrity Boulevard.
This is what one of the best elementary schools in America looks like. In its state assessments, Freedom 7 performed better than 99.8 percent of Florida’s elementary schools.Neighborhoodscout.com, a research and data website that ranks schools based on national and state-specific test scores, reports that Freedom 7 is the best public elementary school in the South. Moms and dads are required to volunteer 20 hours every year, or their child isn’t reenrolled. Because of its reputation, the school receives parent inquiries from as far as Mexico and South America.
Other posts with recipes
I read the label on the bottle of chocolate milk and saw that it had 22 grams of sugar. That can’t be good.
1. Look for cereals with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Better yet, go with homemade oatmeal or porridge (Lisa’s suggestion!)
2. Look for canned fruit packed in water or rinse out your syrup packed fruits.
3. Low-fat peanut butter. Lots of peanut butters have tons of sugar. (I actually go with the natural peanut butters myself and make sure there isn’t any added sugar.)
4. Skip the flavored yogurt and go for plain and put in your own fruit.
5. No fruit leathers. They have corn syrup, artificial flaors and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils which should be avoided.