Featured Essay

My Simple Wish for Health and Happiness

"Star light, star bright, First star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, Have this wish I wish tonight." Little N, my fiesty four-year-old, repeats this rhyme with her head tilted toward the night sky. She excitedly makes a wish on the first star she sees. She loudly says, "I wish I could go to the playground and then get ice cream." She pauses and adds with a side glance "tomorrow." I smile and quietly begin to make my simple wish. It's the same wish I always make. "I wish for my children to be happy and healthy." Like a mantra in my head I often repeat the phrase - health and happiness, health and happiness. It's all I could ever wish for anyone, but especially for my children. When I repeat this secret wish, I don't mean it generically. It is not some throw away cliché you say to be polite. It is about so much more. HEALTH I want my children to always feel strong and healthy. I want them to love their bodies and jump, run, play and dance. I want them to go on adventures and explore the world using the power of their minds and their bodies. I want them to live long, productive and limitless lives. Like most parents, I fear the possible dangers that could steal this from my children. The dangers no one has control over -- like chronic disease, cancer or mental illness. My 9-year-old son AD lives with allergy and cold-induced Asthma. He also has a severe allergy to Peanuts and Tree Nuts. I get nervous every time we go to a restaurant or house party. My heart palpitates when I read stories of kids accidentally eating something at school or camp. We make accommodations to ensure his safety, but I worry all the time. I couldn't imagine facing a real debilitating illness. I never want to focus on the fear, but it is a painful reality for far too many families not to think about. Every day, 43 children are diagnosed with Cancer. In fact, this is the leading cause of death by disease in children, according to CureSearch.org. According to the National … [Read More...]

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