Monday, November 26, 2012

Thank you, happy life

Dr. Seuss wrote a fun, interactive book called My Book About Me. I had a copy as a girl. Some of it was kind of work intensive to fill out, and so I never quite finished it. But I recently retrieved it from my parents' house, and today, on my 26th birthday, it pleases me to look back on my 10-year-old thoughts:

I still don't know how to rotate pictures in blogger. Forgive me. The point is, at age 10 I loved writing but thought I hated science. HA! I still blame Mrs. Caufield, my lame 5th grade science teacher, for that. I shake my fist in her general direction. 
Wonderful women that I am still in touch with. Both are mothers now, too!
Oh gosh, that was probably a conservative estimate. I've never been good at estimating. I have no idea how many books I've read by now...but I did just buy a hardback copy of Salamadastron a couple weeks ago! Finally!

This last picture is my personal favorite. It is...precious to me. And not because of my charming, youthful punctuation error. 

When I skimmed through this book a few months ago, after having not seen it for...a decade or more? I felt a serious jolt when I came to that page. Of course I've always loved writing, and I've always been aware of that love, but...I didn't know. I didn't know the extent to which I was, right now in my life, living my childhood dream. There it is, in my own hand. I wanted to grow up to be a mother/author--(Fabio voice) and not the other way around. 

What I desire to write changes from time to time--sometimes I have really focused on my picture books, sometimes I want to be serious about poetry, sometimes I've worked on a novel. Right now, I quite enjoy writing this blog, and so when I have time, that's where my attention goes. And my dream has expanded beyond just writing--I love to read and edit and help other people with writing. I love to write about birth, but I want to do more. So, I hope that one of the biggest accomplishments of my 26th year will be becoming a CAPPA-certified natural childbirth educator. I have all my books, my manual, and my training DVDs. I have created a schedule for when I want to complete each step of the certification. I am pretty much psyched out of my mind about it. 

But even though those things are sometimes easier to make small-talk about, they represent a fraction of my life and my focus. I am a mother. I am a wife. And I love it oh so much. I love teaching Luke and laughing with him. I love family cuddle time on our bed. I love to relish in the bright-eyed, chubby beauty of my baby girl. And I love my sweet, joyful husband, who never gets down about anything, who wishes me Happy Birthday probably hundreds of times on my birthday. 

Gosh it sounds trite to try to list it all out like that. Look, this is how I feel about my life: 

Earlier this year, sometime in my final weeks of pregnancy, I woke up. It was exceedingly early, with only the tiniest bit of light sneaking around the edge of the curtain. Luke had come to cuddle in the night, seeking his daddy's warmth in the air-conditioned chill. I laid there, pressed back to back with Nick. The symmetry of our arrangement in bed pleased me-- baby Mama Dada toddler. Baby girl kicked and wiggled a bit, to let me know that she was awake too. I laid there, with my heavy belly sunk into the memory foam, surrounded by my family, and I could not stop smiling. I was too happy for tears. I wanted to scream and shoot lasers out of my hands and blast through the roof of our apartment and rocket through the sky until I punched through the atmosphere, because surely my joy could not be contained on this planet. But to do any of those things would break the tender slumber of my husband and son, and would disrupt the antics of my enwombed baby girl. So, for the better part of an hour, until I fell back asleep, I grinned madly to the point of face-ache. 

Here's to 26 more years as happy as that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thank you, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

If you aren't aware of the brony phenomenon, then it's time to get with it. If you're aware of the brony phenomenon and think it's weird/incomprehensible, then it's really time to get with it.
File:My little pony friendship is magic group shot r.png

I first heard about bronies from my younger brother Jacob, who is indeed a brony, or a young adult male fan of the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I thought it was just a funny fad; I assumed that guys were watching the show to mock sickly, saccharine, and simplistic dialogue and plots. I love to mock things for that reason; that's why I went to see the first Twilight movie, and I certainly got a good laugh out of it.

Nick was wiser than me, however. Jacob's interest in the show made Nick curious, and a couple of months ago Nick turned it on for our family Saturday morning cartoon. I was extremely skeptical. I did laundry and only half-listened until I realized how much both Nick and Luke were laughing. Really laughing. Ever since that fateful morning, we have all been devoted fans.

I'm not surprised that the show is so witty and well-developed--it's primarily the brain child of Lauren Faust, who has helped garner Primetime Emmy nominations for both The Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and a Primetime Emmy win for Foster's. I never knew Powerpuff Girls very well, but I own both of the first two seasons of Foster's. While I was at BYU I eagerly awaited new episodes to stream. The best animated stories are appealing for both children and adults, and Faust is clearly aware of that.

If you have Netflix, I highly recommend hopping on and just starting from the beginning with MLP. As the bronies demonstrate, being a child is not required. In the mean time, here are some of the things I really love about this show.

Student Main Character: There are six primary ponies, but the foremost among them is Twilight Sparkle. Twilight Sparkle is a student. She's bookish. She has a huge nerdy library of reference books. She loves to research things. And she's not just like, a regular grade school student. She is essentially pursuing an advanced degree--a master's at least, maybe even a doctorate, at the most prestigious school in Equestria. She's so diligent and smart that she is the personal pupil of Princess Celestia (a unicorn pegasus). When I think about how much good it does little girls to see a main character like this--how much good it does little boys like my SON to see a female character like this--my heart explodes with joy *squelch! collapse!* (mega mega bonus points if you know what I'm referencing).

Diverse Female Personalities: It seems like in fictional works across the board that male characters outnumber female characters. There are some exceptions, but...not many. I think the basic idea is that it's okay for little girls/women to relate to a male character, but boys/men won't identify with a female character, so to have the broadest appeal, publishers and executives tend to go for the men. To me, it follows logically that since there are fewer females in fiction, there will also be fewer types of females and more stereotypes of females. It's exhilarating to watch such a popular show with six distinct female leads. But those are just the leads! There are so many different characters in this female dominated show, and they are all interesting and unique. And as bronies demonstrate, men can definitely relate to these little mares.

No Episode Formula: I conceive of the six main ponies as 20-somethings; they have homes, own land, run businesses, volunteer in the community, plan events. There's no static plot for the show. Every episode, they are involved in something different. The ponies all work and have useful skills and substantial responsibilities; the show doesn't just focus on them socializing or shopping or partying. Their social interactions are a part of their complete lives, not their entire lives.

Integrated Scientific Principles: Probably as often as you get a chocolate chip in a Nestle Tollhouse cookie, you get little bits of science in MLP. It's nothing overt, but that's the beauty of it. Simple things, like interactions with their environment, or experimental tactics with Twilight's magic studies. My favorite example is Season 1 Episode 10: "Swarm of the Century," where the ponies have to find a specific and creative solution to banish an invasive species--just like real scientists have to do all the time.

No easy solutions: The conflicts and the problems in the show are not easily solved. The ponies often try several different solutions before they're met with success. When it's an interpersonal conflict, the ponies offer real, sincere apologies to each other. I like Luke getting to see that. And sometimes, when there is a cameo-level character who's being difficult, the apologies don't work. There are characters who, at the end of the episode, are still jerks. They still persist in lying, or being offended, or being selfish, or being mean. The ponies just have to do their best to be pleasant and move on. I like Luke seeing those episodes, too. Because sometimes, people aren't nice. It isn't always going to work out just because you do the right thing or apologize when you've done the wrong thing.

Legitimization of Girliness: There's no denying that girly things sell. Whether they should and whether it's parents, little girls, or social pressures that cause those numbers is another thing. I don't necessarily hate all things girly, but they can obviously be superficial and damaging. In MLP, girly things like interest in fashion, baking, or cute little animals are all tied to skills and actions. Rarity the pony doesn't just look at fashion magazines--she owns a store and creates clothing and accessories. Pinkie Pie doesn't just lounge around watching The Food Network--she runs a bakery and is really talented. Fluttershy doesn't just ooo and aww at internet memes of cute puppies--she uses her own time and personal resources to care for little animals in need. MLP takes things that can sometimes be denigrated as fluffy and feminine and shows how work-intensive they really are and how much skill they require.

When I played with My Little Pony toys as a child, I had no idea that I would one day watch a fabulous new MLP show with my son--and my husband. Bronies unite!



Friday, November 16, 2012

Thank you, Book of Mormon

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have read the Book of Mormon, and I know it is true.

A couple of weeks ago, I finished reading the Book of Mormon again. At this point in my life, I'm not sure how many times I have read it. I have been in the habit of studying the scriptures (whether it be the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants...) daily for probably eight years now. I do not miss a day. I love the word of God.

This time around, I felt overwhelmed by the painful beauty of the Book of Mormon. Painful because it is the story of true human societies, none of which are ever perfect. Painful because of wars, bloodshed, and anger. Painful because of cynicism, sign-seeking, and doubt.  The Book of Mormon draws images into your mind like medicine into a syringe. A single verse can illuminate a personal human struggle so vividly as to make you weep. The final chapters of the Book of Mormon were written by the prophet Mormon and his son, the prophet Moroni. As they write, their people are being destroyed by their enemies. Mormon writes,

"16 And my soul was rent with anguish, because of the slain of my people, and I cried:  17 O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you! 18 Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen. But behold, ye are fallen, and I mourn your loss. 19 O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen! 20 But behold, ye are gone, and my sorrows cannot bring your return." (Mormon 6:16-20)

But this is not the end. Like the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon is a testament of Jesus Christ. Despite everything he has suffered, despite all of the darkness Moroni has witnessed, he still testifies of the Savior. At the end of his life, when he is in hiding and in constant danger, Moroni is still able to write the words:

"30 And again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing. 31 And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled. 32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God." (Moroni 10:30-32)

I am nearing the end of the Book of Mormon again, in my study with Nick. We have studied the scriptures together every day of our marriage. We are on chapter 6 of Third Nephi, which is the fifth to last book. 3 Nephi contains an account of some of the most chaos and violence in the Book of Mormon. The society is falling apart. Corrupt and cruel leadership abounds. Women and children suffer. I know the stories. I have read all of this before. But this time around, it just feels really intense to me, and I find myself anxiously longing for chapter 9. Chapter 9, where out of the darkness following the crucifiction, the voice of the Savior is heard:

"13 "Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? 14 Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me, ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me. 15 Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name. 22 Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved." (3 Nephi 9:13-14, 22)

I yearn to reach this part in the story. I yearn to read of Jesus Christ blessing the children. I yearn to see that the beauty of the Savior, the power of the Atonement, can overcome any pain.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Please, upinkuitous merchandise

Sliced mushrooms
Men's running shoes
Ziploc brand storage containers
Olive flavored chips
5-hour Energy
Eggland's Best Eggs

What do all of these things have in common? I'll give you a second to guess.

Okay, time's up. All of those things can be found adorned in pink. Pink like amoxicillin. Pink like little girls' clothing. Pink like Susan G. Komen breast cancer merchandise.

I've written about the Susan G. Komen organization once before on this blog, in their defense. But my feelings are far from (pink-lidded) Yoplait yogurt homogeny on this issue.

It's gotten out of control, okay? Breast-cancer awareness. We're all aware of breast cancer. There is no possible way to not be aware of breast cancer. But breast cancer is not the only thing afflicting women. It is far from the biggest killer of women. But it does endanger breasts. Heaven forbid.

As a society, we've come to the point where people almost worship breast cancer. Breast cancer research is a more worthy cause than feeding children in poverty, or protecting the environment, or, I don't know, researching other forms of cancer or other diseases.   Breast cancer just happens to involve both sex appeal and suffering, and so everybody really ought to be on board to find a cure. Especially men.

Breast cancer is apparently superior to other forms of cancer--hence my sister Amber (who endured and overcame Hodgkins lymphoma late in her childhood, and is subsequently at a higher risk for breast cancer) being told that she does not get a "Survivor" t-shirt at the Race for the Cure. I'm sorry, but if you have suffered through any form of cancer, you are due tremendous respect. I don't think breast cancer elitism from Komenites helps anyone.

I know I sound exasperated and maybe even rude. I'm sorry. Truly, truly I am not trying to show any disrespect for women and families who are going through the horrors of breast cancer. This isn't about them. They are strong, so incredibly strong. They are powerful and beautiful women.

This is about hundreds of companies and products trying to make a pink buck. This is about what I see as the trivialization of a dark, difficult disease by the Susan G. Komen organization. "Save the Tatas"? "Embrace your girls"? Do we care about the loss of women's lives, or just the loss of their breasts? Where is the big societal support for heart disease, which actually is the No. 1 killer of women (and men), which kills more women than all forms of cancer combined?

The poor American Heart Association. They have tried really hard to mimic Susan G. Komen's success with the whole symbolic color thing. But they chose red, a color of power and authority. Who wants to associate those things with women? Much better to go with pink, a color that evokes "Oh, I'm weak, save me!" (as my sister Amber put it). And unfortunately, heart disease involves what's inside women, when we all know that with women, it's what's on the outside that counts.

I understand wanting to raise money for research. But is the Komen organization really so strapped for cash that they should be forming partnerships with products like 5-hour Energy, which might contribute to cancer? I understand creating and selling things like bumper stickers, key chains, t-shirts, and wrist bands about breast cancer awareness.Those are all typical forums where people can show support for a cause. Breast cancer seems to be the only cause that has taken over literally every type of product on the shelves of America, and I'm just cynical enough to wonder about everyone's subconscious reasons for being so enthusiastic in their support.

I hope the money Susan G. Komen brings in makes a difference. I hope that they are able to find less toxic and less traumatic treatments for all forms of cancer, not just breast cancer. And I hope that as a nation, we develop enough compassion to fund all worthy causes with as much fervor as Komen currently commands.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Please, Google Street View

I really enjoy a variety of screen media. I love beautiful movies like The Fall, with breathtakingly vivid colors. I still remember the first time I saw any Planet Earth. It was the "Caves" episode on an HDTV. It gave me chills. Even the Avatar film was just really fun to look at, even though the visuals were all a pretty fiction.

But I am fully aware that looking is not living. Seeing is not experiencing. And sometimes I fear that in a world where we spend more and more time looking at screens instead of at things around us, people are beginning to forget that distinction.

There's a small part of me that thinks it's cool that Google Street View will soon be able to take you on a journey through the Grand Canyon. But the larger part of me feels kind of nauseous when I think about it. I guess I just fear that people will use it and then be jaded. They'll think "Well, that was cool." I'm afraid that using the GSV will inject a slow-acting poison into people's motivation to get out and see it for themselves.

I fear this for the Grand Canyon in particular because I was guilty of feeling jaded like that. In the US, you grow up seeing pictures and videos of the Grand Canyon all the time. I honestly never thought it looked that cool. I couldn't see what was so great about it or why it was a source of such irrepressible wonder. In March 2009, when Nick and I had a little trip to Arizona, I planned for us to drive by and spend oh, maybe an hour at the Grand Canyon. Just to see it, I thought. I mostly worked it into the trip out of some sort of American obligation.

Stepping up to the guardrail of this most massive rift in the earth, I was immediately and severely humbled. Let me tell you--nothing, absolutely nothing visual can capture the Grand Canyon. No matter how good the camera or how HD the screen or how extensive the documentary or how skilled the cinematography. You cannot even begin to imagine it. Please just forget any picture you have ever seen of it.

Nick and I had planned to spend one hour, but we ended up staying for three, because we simply could not pull ourselves away. We felt like the biggest idiots ever for planning so little time there. We took pictures out of reflex, but every time I clicked it was with a devastating awareness of the futility. I felt this exhausting sense of loss as we drove away and the land became normal desert fare once again.

We're so capable of making things pretty nowadays that other sensations have really taken a back seat. We think we can vicariously experience someone's trip by skimming through their Facebook pictures. We think that we can let someone experience the Grand Canyon by hiking through it with a GPS and a camera strapped to our heads.

Google Street View will not make your lips feel slightly swollen from the phenomenal hot wings you ate at a restaurant right outside Grand Canyon National Park.
Google Street View does not include the cold, arresting scent of pine and snow from the top of the South Rim in March.
Google Street View will not make you feel too warm from the desert sun, shed your jacket, then feel too cold when a lively breeze twists around you, put your jacket back on, and then break out in a light sweat from the exertion of clambering around the rocks.
Google Street View does not include the intense roughness of ancient ocean life, now rock, that covers almost every surface you climb over.
Google Street View will not make you constantly brush long hair out of your face, resulting in a ridiculously tangled mess.
Google Street View will not make nervous laughter bubble involuntarily up your throat as you try to find a safe way to climb back up to the parking lot.
Google Street View does not include sweaty palms and straining muscles as your husband boosts you up to a good handhold.
Google Street View does not include the echo of you and your husband's voices as you sing How Great Thou Art together while entwined on a secluded outcropping.
Google Street View also does not include warm lips and warm kisses in the cold shade of that same outcropping.

Oh my, I could go on and on. But I won't. And these are just sensations I remember from one exceedingly brief experience with the Grand Canyon. Just imagine what my mother, who hiked to the bottom, could tell you. Imagine what people who have returned to the canyon again and again could tell you.

The west is full of so much otherworldly beauty, and Nick and I spent a lot of time camping and enjoying it. But the visual beauty was just a fraction of the experience of camping. Looking back at pictures triggers memories like freezing fingers while shaking frost off our tent before folding it, or the eerie howling of coyotes in the Mojave. When you merely look at other people's pictures or videos, it triggers nothing.

Elder David A. Bednar says all this better than me:



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thank you, SNL

Saturday Night Live is near and dear to my heart. I love it so much that for my 20th birthday, my friend Andrea and I had an SNL themed party. Everyone dressed up as people from different SNL sketches, and for food we did a big buffet of all the taco ingredients from the Taco Town sketch. From Dana Carvey to Chris Farley to Tina Fey, SNL never fails to make me laugh.

But on this Election Day, I am grateful to SNL for producing the best humorous piece of the whole race.  This sketch is brilliantly neutral. Anyone can laugh at it, of any party or preference.

Happy Election Day, everyone! Go vote!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Please, Friday Night Lights

I hate to write a negative entry about the show Friday Night Lights. There are so many great things about this show. The first season in particular is stunning, an intoxicating mixture of realism, music, and cinematography. A friend of mine remarked that FNL is the only show she's ever seen where she feels like she's watching real life. That's very true. Nick and I probably care the least about football out of anyone in America, but we were deeply enamored with this beautiful ensemble drama.

Until...

The end of the first season.

*SPOILER ALERT: The rest of this entry includes a small spoiler about one aspect of the show. If you don't want any aspect of the show to be revealed to you in advance, then please do not continue reading.

Coach Eric Taylor and his wife, Tami are the main characters of the show. Their marriage is strong, inspiring, and realistic. They have one child, a teenage daughter named Julie. Because they are so focused on family, throughout the first season there is a small elephant in the room--you wonder why they don't have more kids. It is certainly fine to choose to have only one child, but the question is there. At the end of the first season, you find out that Tami is pregnant. She relates how much she and Eric had yearned for more children and had tried and hoped for years, but it just didn't happen. She is overjoyed to be pregnant.

That scene made me cry, and because I had grown to love Eric and Tami and Julie so much throughout the first season, I felt nearly as excited for them as I would for a real-life acquaintance.

Tami has the baby right at the beginning of the second season, and that is where the mountain top of the show's realism is blown away. We're still watching the show. There's still a mountain of realism. But it no longer rises to a majestic, awe-inspiring peak. Now, there is an ugly, unnatural flatness to the show, all because of the bizarre exclusion of little baby Grace Taylor.

Little Grace is hardly ever in the show. By "in," I mean screen time, plot line importance, and dialogue mentions. She does not have a high or even middling ranking in any of those three categories. The writers went to the trouble to put a baby in the Taylor family, but can't be bothered to change the way they write about the Taylors in a way that reflects how real families change when a baby comes along.

Now, I will say that right when Grace is first born, she gets a little bit more attention. But it is vastly negative attention. Tami is sleep-deprived, stressed, Julie is angry and displaced. Baby Grace cries, she's sick. In one episode, Tami has to take Grace to the ER after long, hot summer day. A comment about this episode on an About.com forum caught my eye: "So far, I’m not pleased by the portrayal of breastfeeding in Season 2 of Friday Night Lights. A dehydrated newborn shouldn’t be given formula. Instead, the mother should breastfeed more often. If the baby is dehydrated, admit her! Give her an IV! [sarcasm intended] In addition, this is the first mention of breastfeeding at all, and it’s almost the end of the episode. We’ve seen “colic”, but no nursing. We’ve seen fussing after a hot walk, but no nursing. The first mention of nursing is to suggest that breastfeeding, itself, is insufficient."

But beyond those first early days, Grace hardly figures in. When we watch the show nowadays, I constantly ask, "Where is the baby?" It's not like her absence is explained by a babysitter or something. She's just not there, not even when the Taylors are comfortable at home. She's certainly never with the Taylors in public.

In fact, I brainstormed a short list of things that figure more prominently in the show than baby Grace (again in terms of screen time, plot line importance, and dialogue mentions):

--Beer
--Barbecue
--Tyra's boobs, butt, and legs
--Tim's truck
--Tyra's truck
--Jason's wheelchair
--Jason's tattoo
--Landry's car
--The potential Jumbotron for the stadium
--Grandma Saracen's pills
--Smash Williams' steroids
--Buddy Gerrity's car dealership
--Baked goods made by rally girls
--The dopey paper hats Matt and Smash have to wear while working at the Alamo Freeze (a fast food place)
--And last but not least, football (as in the object, not like...the concept or even the game).

When you have a baby, that is your world. It is a form of being in love; it's born of the romantic type of being in love. Your baby is there in your every waking thought (and especially for moms, in your sleeping thoughts as well. There is definitely such a thing as "the mommy alarm."). Your baby is there in every conversation with your spouse. In every plan you make for every hour of every day, you account for your baby. Your baby is a gorgeous, decadent obsession. You can't kiss her enough, you can't hold him enough, can't take enough pictures, can't smell her enough, can't feel his soft skin or her tight grip on your fingers enough. Having a baby is like getting to eat a huge, luscious chocolate cake with a glass of ice-cold 2% milk every single day without gaining a single pound.

Sure, I'll make the obligatory qualitative statement and say being a parent has challenges, blah blah blah. Duh. I'm in the middle of potty-training so I definitely know that. But if my life were an American TV show, all it would include about today would be scenes of Luke having accidents everywhere. It wouldn't include the scene of him running back and forth down the hall in his big boy underwear, throwing his arms around Nick and I, screaming with joy and saying "I love you, Mom! I love you, Dad!"

Friday Night Lights could have bucked that trend. They could have been the one show on television that portrayed having a child in an accurate way. But they had to play into this idea that babies=stress and that babies/children have no part in active adult lives except to disrupt them. Maybe in some way this is realistic. I think a lot about the fact that for some people, you could go years--even a couple decades--without having a close relationship to a baby or a small child. Certainly, I bet a lot of twenty-somethings (and even thirty-somethings) go weeks and even months without simply interacting with a baby or small child. For a lot of people, their world consists only of adults, and the closest they get to kids is Youtube videos. That's a sad state, but in our modern lives, that's just the way things are.

Well, at least in Youtube videos kids are happy and funny. Can't say the same for Friday Night Lights, where I'm not sure if they've ever once shown Baby Grace's smile.