Dare to Fly

Anna strikes a pose.

Photo: Julia Ozab

Anna had two birthday parties this weekend. That’s right—two!

The first one—on Saturday—was for her Girl Scout Troop and we had it at a local pizza parlor with a large indoor play area. It was a budget party, with cake, drinks, and snacks, and it was a lot of fun.

The second one—on Sunday—was for her classmates. We had it at a local gymnastics place. It was not a budget party, but it was worth it to get Anna and her friends the run of the place for an hour and a half.

As one of her friends said: “This is the awesomest party ever!”

The highlight of the party was Anna’s first zip-line ride. All of her friends were as excited to see her fly across the room. I overheard one girl shout “this is going to be epic!” as one of the employees hooked Anna to the harness. Everyone stopped playing to watch.

Anna was fine until she climbed on to the railing. The she got “nervous.”

That was her word. She didn’t want to admit she was scared.

I could see how scared she was. She couldn’t bring herself to let go. The other kids shouted out encouragements. They even chanted her name. It wasn’t enough.

So I went upstairs and reassured her.

I help Anna over the railing.

Photo: Julia Ozab

I helped her ease over the railing. She still couldn’t let go. I showed her the harness and the rope and how secure they were, and I told her there was no way her mom and I would ever put her in danger.

I told her she could do it.

She said she was ready.

She let go … and then she flew.

Cheerleaders of Faith

Gallery

Party Girl!

Pink cake

Birthday Cake

Anna was invited to a friend’s birthday party on Sunday. There was food and cake and presents, like all birthday parties, but there was also a fun photo booth set up by Smile Station Photography. All the girls had there pictures taken. No surprise—Anna went first.

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iKids 2

Anna and her iPad

A new iPad!

About two years ago, we bought Anna her first computer. I wrote about that purchase, and the increasingly comfortable relationship between kids and technology, on this blog.

Anna got a new computer this week. It was an early present in advance of her sixth birthday. She’s played educational games on Julia’s computer for several months now, she also works on both iMacs and iPads at her Kindergarten, and she can dial out on our iPhone. She’s ready.

She’s not quite six and she’s already immersed in technology. Realizing that got me thinking about how different her childhood has been from mine and from Julia’s.

She continues to work with MacBooks, iPads, and iPods at her new school. Technology is a constant in her young life, and so last Sunday on her eighth birthday, we took the next step forward and bought Anna her own iPad.

I think she was a bit shocked at first. We were expecting a big reaction when she unwrapped it, something like …

“An IPAD? WOW!!!”

Instead we got …

“Oh, an iPad.”

I know it hadn’t sunk in yet. While we didn’t get the initial reaction we hoped we would, she played with it most of the day, showing us through her actions just how much she loved it.

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Bloggerhood Etc. 11/25/13

Happy Birthday David

Photo: Julia Ozab

Today is my birthday. More on that at the end of the post, but
first the best of the week.

Best New Tech.MIT Invents A Shapeshifting Display You Can Reach Through And Touch” by John Brownlee at Co.Design.

At the MIT Media Lab, the Tangible Media Group believes the future of computing is tactile. Unveiled today, the inFORM is MIT’s new scrying pool for imagining the interfaces of tomorrow. Almost like a table of living clay, the inFORM is a surface that three-dimensionally changes shape, allowing users to not only interact with digital content in meatspace, but even hold hands with a person hundreds of miles away. And that’s only the beginning.

Best Retro Tech.Breaking Madden: The Glorious Return of Techmo Bo Jackson” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.

The legend of Bo Jackson extended to video games. His Tecmo Bowl self remains arguably the greatest athlete in the history of gaming. In this episode, we recreate Bo in Madden NFL 25, and watch him pile up over a mile of rushing yards.

Best Parody.Watch toy robots hilariously poke fun at our smartphone addiction” by Casey Chan at Sploid.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: the toy robots line up to buy a phone that they use to haggle for likes and amuse themselves with digital purchases until that phone breaks and they have to buy a new model and repeat the whole process again.

Best Photo Series.Photographic Series Showing What 200 Calories Looks Like in Different Foods” at ArtFido.

A plate with a small cluster of M&Ms

Photo: L.S. Wynn/wiseGEEK

Best Special Needs Post.Why I Refuse to Care About the Redskins Name Controversy” by Andi Sligh at The Huffington Post.

There’s something very wrong with a society that obsesses over the nickname of a professional football franchise but sees nothing wrong with the everyday use of the word “retard.”

Best Question.Did Jesus Get Diarrhea?” by Tamára Lunardo at A Deeper Story. (Warning: Includes some sh*tty language.)

My brilliant nurse practitioner friend says that, given the water quality and sanitation of the time, he probably had frequent diarrhea as a child. Then, as an adult, he would have had enough antibodies that he didn’t have to worry about it. So, okay, fine. (Also, I’m not sure I’d take that deal. Or any of his subsequent ones, come to think of it.)

Most Moving.My Birth Father Doesn’t Love Me, But My Real Father Does” by Lorilee Craker at Convergent Books Blog.

(W)hen you have no answers, you create ever-ballooning expectations that never can be met. I don’t care if your birth father is Neil Young, Captain Kangaroo, or the crown prince of Genovia. The balloon starts out like a cute red blob floating at a kid’s party, but when you puff it up with a lifetime of wondering it can grow to the size of the Goodyear Blimp. And we all know when the blimp springs big leaks and comes back to earth, it won’t come down gently.

Best Birthday. Mine.

And now I’m off to enjoy it.