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A letter to my daughter: Why I will always be your partner in this world.

Dear Little Chow: The world is yours to make better.

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Fathers Everywhere

To my daughter, Little Chow:

All photos by the author, used with permission.


I first traveled outside of my country when I was 18.

But at age 3, your world is already so much more advanced, and yet more complicated than the world I inherited.

You have already touched more than 10 countries.

I lived more than half of my life before the internet and email came and took over my life; you were born into social media. Mama and I collected hundreds of Likes on Facebook when we announced your entrance into the world.

Assuming all goes well, you are going to be a first-world child, and this is great.

But I’ll be honest: Sometimes I worry about this too.

Mama and I both have jobs, and you are fortunate to have lived way above the poverty line. You have not experienced famine, war, instability, malnutrition, and homelessness. When we go shopping, we can always buy something, however small it is. We love it when we see you running around in the courtyard of our home. It gives us comfort that we are doing well as parents, and we hope to provide that oasis for you as long as possible.

Right now, you are still on the inside of the glass.

I certainly hope for you to live a good life. However, I also do not want you to grow up feeling this is normal — and, worse, feeling you are entitled to this way of living.

700 million people live in poverty today, and millions are affected by conflict, poverty, and natural disasters. The world is imbalanced.

But I don’t want you to be merely happy as you grow up. I also want you to be a compassionate, understanding, and, ultimately, useful human being,

What can we do about this? I will bring you into the world.

Before you entered my world, my life looked different. It involved travels around the globe, extreme outdoor adventures, and understanding global inequality through my personal work. My life has mellowed a little since you came around, and that’s a good thing.

But I hope we can continue to adventure together. I have brought you to the wilder parts of the Great Wall of China for weekend hikes. When we subject you to a challenge, without feedback from society or peers your age, you don’t know your own limits and you surpass our expectations. You appreciate the nature, the flowers, the climb, and that made me happy.

I want a child of mine to love nature so she can grow up to be in love with the Earth we live in, beyond her own small world.

I will bring you to Everest Base Camp come this fall. We will walk together when you can, and I am prepared to carry you up when you feel weary.

In your life, during travels and long days, I promise to guide you along and be a friend and a companion.

I don’t want to outsource this portion of parenting to a professional, an institution, or someone else. As a father, I love the challenge, and it is a privilege I will cherish.

All these things I will teach you before you go to school. Then from there, I hope you can learn to be a citizen of the world.

This is my personal promise to you: I will teach you about the world so you know where you stand.

You will be a first-world child, and I hope to teach you to understand what that means and entails.

And I promise to keep including you in my world — to walk along and to grow with you.

Love,

Papa

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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"Veteran" mom and "new" mom parent differently.

When a couple has their first child, they start out with the greatest of intentions and expectations. The child will only eat organic food. They will never watch TV or have screen time and will always stay clean.

But soon, reality sets in and if they have more kids, they'll probably be raised with a lot less attention. As a result, first-born kids turn out a bit differently than their younger siblings.

"Rules are a bit more rigid, attention and validation is directed and somewhat excessive," Niro Feliciano, LCSW, a psychotherapist and anxiety specialist, told Parents. "As a result, firstborns tend to be leaders, high achievers, people-pleasing, rule-following and conscientious, several of the qualities that tend to predict success."

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