Thursday, January 30, 2014


Before my trip to Mexico, Emily pressed her library book into my hand and made me swear that I wouldn't lose it.  She said she had read it over and over and still wasn't tired of it.  I would love it, she said.  She was right. 

Matthew Kirby has written a first-person fantasy novel that avoids all of the cliches.  There are no dwarves, elves, rings, schools of magic, quests, or orphans with a destiny, only the children of a Norse warlord waiting out the war in a tiny keep pressed against the edge of a glacier and a freezing fjord.  I guess this is juvenile fiction, but the best kind.  

This was the best book I have read this year.  I read it three times through in Mexico and I wasn't tired of it either.  

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Discussion about child abuse and risk from Facebook

  • Always, always keep this in mind...
    UPDATE: Man Arrested for Sexual Assault of a Child in College Station

    College Station Police have arrested 54 year old Isaiah Young of Bryan for sexually assaulting a child who was riding his bicycle home on Welsh Avenue last Friday night.

    READ STORY -->
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    • Catrina Farnsworth What kind of parents let their kids run around unsupervised? I will NEVER EVER understand that mentality!! I can't stand it when I see kids (especially young tiny ones) walking home by themselves. Idiot parents!!! Don' they watch the news!!?? SORRY...But THIS CRAP infuriates me to no end. It breaks my heart so bad I literally feel heavy sadness in my chest when I hear about the assaults on young children. In talking to kids that Elena used to go to school with, a parent was usually home but still the kids were made to walk or bike home ALONE! No excuse for THAT!!! Grown people get kidnapped and assaulted everyday... and if that happens to adults, there is NO good reason to leave kids out in this world alone. It only takes a split second for them to be grabbed and that damage can NEVER be undone.
      22 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Brian Gardunia Really Catrina? You never were alone as a child?
    • Brian Gardunia In full disclosure, I let my kids walk or ride their bikes to school by themselves.
    • Catrina Farnsworth Yes really Brian!!!! And I will even apologize for my tone in advance as this subject is way too near and dear to my heart to be nice/ politically correct about. In my opinion you (people in general) are not doing your job as a parent to PROTECT your children if you leave them in the same position as this kid who was just sexually assaulted. Where is the common sense in knowing what can happen but allowing kids to be out on the streets without adult supervision? Only fools thinks these kinds of things will never happen to someone in their family... until it does. Anyone living in their little fairy tale land where nothing bad will ever happen to their kids is absurd, irresponsible and shows the huge lack of caution and concern for the safety of their children whom they are supposed to love and protect. A parent who deliberately leaves their child alone and accessible to evil predators is not fulfilling their calling as a parent to protect their children. Like I said before It only takes a split second for them to be grabbed and subsequently beaten, raped & murdered...even if they live, that damage can NEVER be undone. I have seen first hand the life long repercussions of someone who was raped as a child, someone, in fact 2 people who are very close to me. I have seen how they struggle everyday with the traumatic flashbacks that affect EVERY SINGLE aspect of their life & how they still cry as adults, suffer with depression & anxiety and continue to suffer throughout their adult lives. One was raped at 5 the other at 13! How can anyone look at the beauty, love, & innocence in children yet still allow them to be sittings ducks!? We can't even imagine the horrific pain physically & mentally that a child being raped goes through, a child being raped by a full grown man- all the while screaming for their mommy or daddy whether verbally or in their minds. How horribly abandoned, hopeless & frantic those children must feel while being raped wondering why their parents aren't there to scoop them up in hugs keep them safe. People like you need to spend some time with the officers, EMS & crime scene detectives on scene when they find the children bleeding & crying, so tortured that they can't stand to be touched even by their rescuers. Or worse being there when they find the body of a child who was raped and murdered (the rape of a child traumatizes and affects first responders as well (this I also known fist hand). Or maybe even better would be for you to stand next to the doctors who try to asses the damage done by the rape and suture the children back together! Plain and simple, we all know bad things can happen to even the most cautious prepared people, we can't live in a bubble after all. However when you disregard a child's safety because it is too much effort on your part to keep an eye on them, because it is easier to have a latch key kid, or you think it's cool that they have fun out on their own because they are good kids and you trust them... well that is when you have failed as a parent, taking the easy way out & putting them in harms way. How dare any self proclaimed "good responsible" parent fail their unsuspecting fragile children in such a way. Whatever happened to erring on the side of caution? Both of the child rape victims (now adults) that I am close to would NEVER agree that there is any good reason to leave children unsupervised for any amount of time. Those 2 women would go to their graves before they let a child they cared about out of their sight because they know the horror first hand that CAN BE prevented by a close vigilant parent.
    • Melinda Lawrence Catrina, what a cruel thing to say about people who are in a great deal of pain right now. I hope nothing tragic happens to any of your children. Even the most vigilant of parents have terrible things happen to them or their children.
      8 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Erin Hill Also, children who never learn to manage their own time or practice making decisions by themselves will struggle as adults.

      The world is a scary place for sure, but most attacks on children come from adults those children already know. Stranger danger
       feels urgent and pressing, but statistically, the dangers are closer to home. Parents should definitely be vigilant, but it is a fallacy to think that parents can be everywhere or protect from every thing. 

      One of the reasons we have a generation of helicopter parents/immature college students is because young people who are stepping out on their own have never really truly been on their own.

      For each family/person, the timing may be different, but I do think that part of being a good parent is helping my kids to learn to make good decisions.

      Also, in the case mentioned, the child may have been riding alone for lots of reasons. Some parents have to work at strange times not because they are lazy or can't be bothered to watch their children but because they need to provide clothing, food, and shelter. The person who should be blamed is the perpetrator! 

      Unfortunately, it may be just as misguided as people in a fairy tale land to believe that parents can stop everything. I definitely wish we could, but we can't.
      4 hours ago · Like · 3
    • Brian Gardunia It would be so awful if something happened. But, I am still going to let them walk to school. Unfortunately the most dangerous place for most children is their own homes. I tried to look up the numbers and the national numbers include neglect and physical abuse along with sexual abuse, but according to those databases 80.9% of child abuse cases 2007-2011 were perpetrated by the parents. Only 1% were from adults that did not have a relationship with the victim. The other common abusers were stepparents or step children, Boyfriends of the mother, uncles, cousins, teachers, neighbors, friends of the parents, or relatives of the child's friends.
      39 minutes ago · Like · 1
    • Brian Gardunia This discussion reminds me of a scene from Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card. In the book, there is a very real danger from a murderous pedophile in the neighborhood. There is a discussion between two parents about how to keep their children safe. One tries to keep their children at all times within eyesight, another does not. I will have to look it up and reread it. That book haunted me as a parent of young children. It is a disturbing novel, and one of his best ones. At it's core is this debate. I am not naive, but I refuse to live in fear either.
    • Brian Gardunia Pragmatically, no parent can supervise their children 100% of the time, especially if you have 5 like I do.