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    "Generation X Raising Generation" O & "Raising Generation O" & "The End of Irony in American Family Life: Raising Generation O"© Lisa Catherine Harper 2008\All rights reserved
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Ella & the Bears

Before Ella was born, a friend gave me/her  a small stuffed Polar Bear. It was one of those cute soft toys you throw in the crib and see which one the kid clings to. As it turned out, the Polar Bear became attached to her hip, arm, mouth, hand…you name it.  The bear was a part of her, and because it got so dirty, I bought 2 more to keep in rotation. But of course it didn’t take long before she sussed me out and all three took up residence in her crib.  Now, even though one has been around the world only to be returned, good as new, by Santa, Snowy, Icy, and (the one whose name I forget) are still the most essential bedtime companions. Snowy, the original and most loved it totally thread bare and flattish, but no matter.

But these beloved animals have actually made her care about real polar bears, and provided a nice way to talk about the bears, their habitat, the dangers of global warming and pollution.   When we talk about turning off lights and recycling and when she donates her lemonade money to saving the arctic funds, it’s sort of like taking care of Snowy’s relatives.   Let’s just say I try to make it real for my kids when I can, and sometime the real world is connected to the fantasy world by the most tenuous of threads.

So, in honor of Snowy and empathy inspired by endangered species plush toys I offer you this:

Email President Obama and see the World Wildlife Fund for more information on how you can help. They’re a terrific, kid-friendly group. Donate even a small amount for your favorite cause, and let your child write the letter.


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