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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.

True
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

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Health

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to run their YouthLine teen crisis hotline

“Each volunteer gets more than 60 hours of training, and master’s level supervisors are constantly on standby in the room.”

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to man YouthLine teen crisis hotline

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.

PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.

The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.

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Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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Family

Mom shares her brutal experience with 'hyperemesis gravidarum' and other moms can relate

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe case of morning sickness that can last up until the baby is born and might require medical attention.

@emilyboazman/TikTok

Hyperemesis gravidarum isn't as common as regular morning sickness, but it's much more severe.

Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.

But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.

Emily Boazman, a mom who had HG while pregnant with her third child, showed just how big of an impact it can make in a viral TikTok.

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The cast of TLC's "Sister Wives."

Dating is hard for just about anyone. But it gets harder as people age because the dating pool shrinks and older people are more selective. Plus, changes in dating trends, online etiquette and fashion can complicate things as well.

“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.

Janelle and Meri have recently announced they’ve separated from Kody. Christine publicly admitted that things were over with Kody in November 2021.

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Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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