Friday, April 15, 2011

A Rebel's Cause-A Mother Speaks

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This Sunday Christians around the world will observe Palm Sunday and the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem. Within days religious leaders and politicians would turn on Him, while the drama of an eternal plan played out on the stage of humanity.

Next Friday, we will remember the death of Christ, dying for the sin of all mankind. And then, on Sunday, the Resurrection, without which there would be no hope, no life, no redemption.

We encourage you to attend services at a biblical Christian church this weekend and next, as we observe these two most holy events.

The Triumphal Entry

(John 12:12) The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. (13) They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of Israel!" (14) Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, (15) "Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt." (16) At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.


A Rebel's Cause

Stephanie Wilson

I'm truly not a rebel by nature. But there are times when I value freedom more than my peace-keeping natural instincts. And I must admit, if I were to be completely honest, I'm not a big fan of people telling me what to do ... all the time.

First, seatbelts. I know ... they save lives, etc. And yes, I always make sure the children in my car wear them, no exceptions. Me? Not so much. When I see a police officer, yes, it snakes out from its hiding place. And yes ... I do know about the 'practice what you preach' sentiment and I agree, most of the time.

This morning I was perusing the daily news wire, as I always do, and I came across an article from the Chicago Tribune that once again brought out the rebel.

A Chicago elementary school has now banned lunches brought from home. Truly! Children are no longer allowed to bring their own food from their own home. They are also not allowed to bring certain snacks.

Okay, I get the "certain snacks" requirement. Healthy snacks were always enforced at my son's schools due to food allergies and the sugar effect on young, active children.

But ... no lunches?

"Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices," said the Tribune.

Keyword -- "their own ... food choices."

Now, I'm a mom who obsesses over fruits and vegetables. When my son was just a toddler I found all kinds of creative ways to sneak them into a variety of foods. And for the most part, it worked.

I'm also the mom of a boy just entering puberty who when asked by his Grandmother what he likes to do on our side of town replied, "Find places to eat." He is growing like a weed.

So while I believe wholeheartedly in healthful food choices for children, absolutely critical for brain development and physiology, I absolutely reject the idea of "choice" being stripped from the parents as to what their children can and can not eat while away from home.

"Some of the kids don't like the food they give at our school for lunch or breakfast," said Little Village parent Erica Martinez. "So it would be a good idea if they could bring their lunch so they could at least eat something." No arguments there. Institutional food has rarely been appealing. Think back to your college days.

We know that sugar effects children. We know, first hand, the highs and lows of eating too many refined carbs. But imagine the effects of hunger. If the children won't eat what the school serves, they go hungry. Not an option. Mother's the world over know you have to sometimes give "a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down."

The issue was raised in the Chicago Tribune article, "Any school that bans homemade lunches also puts more money in the pockets of the district's food provider, Chartwells-Thompson. The federal government pays the district for each free or reduced-price lunch taken, and the caterer receives a set fee from the district per lunch." An argument that cannot be ignored -- a question that must always remain in our parental minds. It usually is about the money.

The larger question at play here is, who is more qualified to raise your child? Who has the best interests of your child at heart? You ... or a government institution? And yes ... I do realize there are exceptions.

There has to be a place where we stand up and say 'enough.' I'm tired of trying to please the swinging pendulum of a politically correct standard ... that isn't. Just when you think you've complied, the rules change. I think, as I get older, I am learning that for me, for my family, the all things in moderation approach is what works for us.

It isn't the government's responsibility to feed my child, to discipline my child, to raise my child. It doesn't take a village -- it takes me. And I must, now more than ever before, be engaged in my child's life, his education, his health, his social life.

The village -- its what gives flavor to his world and life experiences, color in the artwork of his life. But the structure, the bones of his existence, his framework ... must come from us.