I’m a lifelong fan of Michael Jackson. Have been for years. I love MJ so much, I even introduced him to my son, who’s still trying to grasp why he looked one way in one year (Thriller) but completely different in another year (This Is It). I’ll explain it to him when he’s old enough.
Never mind my parenting duties, as much of a fan I am of MJ’s, I also followed the numerous child molestation allegations against him over the years. Admittedly, I can say once the 2004 allegations came up, I began thinking just like many people, ‘Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.’
Let’s face it; it’s natural to think that when someone is accused of something several times, they’ve probably done said action. Bill Cosby and R. Kelly come to mind. However, unlike the aforementioned entertainers, Michael Jackson was never convicted of any crime nor was there any evidence that could directly link him to any crime, say like a sex tape.
Of course, I have to mention the two multimillion dollar settlements his insurance company paid to two families on allegations. I repeat, Michael Jackson’s insurance company paid those settlements, not Jackson himself.
Yet, the thought of the world’s most famous and recognizable entertainer was capable of doing such henious acts against children has haunted Michael in his shortened life and now in his death.
MJ was acquitted in 2005 and unexpectedly died in 2009. On the ten-year anniversary of his death, a damning documentary came out from two men who claimed MJ molested them for years.
He was 14 years old and was in poor health for a short while. He had a series of seizures and my mom finally took him to the clinic where the vet confirmed the seizures were actually heart attacks and Shorty had cognitive heart failure. She gave my mom medication and I hoped that would’ve extended his life.
They found him dead in his sleep. My brother buried him in the backyard with my other dog, Missy, from a long time ago.
While I mourned the loss of my puppy, I tried to explain it to Bear. He didn’t understand the concept of life and death quite yet and it was hard to explain it to him in a way that made sense. I told him that Shorty was in heaven, and that we wouldn’t be seeing him again when we go see Grandma and Grandpa.
He looked at me a bit quizzically and then went back to playing on his iPad.
When Bear woke up from his nap and saw me working on this very post and the accompanying pictures of Shorty, I explained to him again that he died and went to heaven.
“Oh no,” he softly replied and frowned.
“Do you want to talk about it?” I asked.
He shook his head and I turned on the TV so we can watch Cousins for Life.
As I found temporary relief that he didn’t press any further, I was caught into wondering if this is merely the beginning of discussing death with my young child. After all, death is a part of life. It’s a guarantee just like taxes.
I don’t remember my first encounter with death as a child. I remember other factors like a family pet dying, or even a distant family member passing away, but I can’t really recall the first experience. Maybe I blocked it out, or maybe I was just so super young, I honestly don’t remember.
I don’t know if my parents ever gave me a talk about life and death. I also don’t know if I just figured it out on my own. Talking to a child in the world of social media, where trending topics can often decide what’s real or what’s fake, I don’t want Bear to be influenced by what death is and what it’s not.
Still, explaining life and death, heaven and earth (not sure if we’ll get to the hell part but hopefully Bear will figure that part on his own), will forever be a conversation in our home. Bear knows about Ethan, but he doesn’t quite understand why we visit him at the cemetery and why he’s not here.
I researched on Amazon a number of books about explaining death to a child and I’m not sure if I’m ready to pick up one. We already have a book for Bear that was very hard for us to read when I was pregnant with him and he has yet to see it.
Maybe when we go visit my parents in a week or so, and Bear sees Shorty isn’t around, maybe he’ll understand then. And I have to be prepared for his reaction no matter what.
Le sigh…this was a lesson I wasn’t expecting so soon to teach and for Bear to learn. Does anyone have any tips?
Bear loves his apps. And just maybe, I let him be on his games and apps a bit too much as I work around the house and catch up with other things. However, while my son is obsessed with all things Roblox and Minecraft, I do try to get him to do educational apps.
But let’s face it – while ABCmouse is awesome, and some kid-friendly YouTube videos are cool, sometimes Bear needs to think outside of the box. He’s a kid that needs to be challenged a little as he learns.
Recently, I was approached by Dr. Caleb Leong, the creator of The Brain Train Adventure game app. First, let me tell you – Caleb has great energy! He’s like that kids’ soccer coach who gets the kids pumped up and by association, you get pumped up as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s actually a soccer coach in real life. But I digress.
(I really suggest, btw, to click on Caleb’s video. He has some important information I think every parent wants to hear on how they can help with his kickstarter and how it will ultimately benefit them and their community.)
So, I’m looking at the app, okay? At first, I was like, ‘Oh okay, another kids’ educational app. They’re a dime a dozen nowadays!’ But then I started looking more into the app itself and I kinda want to say it’s Montessori on an intense fitness plan that resembles a professional athlete’s body.
Something like that.
Not only could your child choose to read on their own or have the adventure be read to them (I love this part because it reminds me of a function Bear has in his Kindle Fire) but there are little tidbits and facts so he can learn as he plays.
I know a lot of people complain about how they would like to donate but they just don’t have the funds but come on…two dollars?? Everyone has two dollars.
And plus, with all of the super cool perks they’re offering, it’s really a good deal! For those who want to humblebrag, you have the option of your name being included in the credits. For those who just want to support a fantastic idea, you can donate any amount.
I personally think it’s an awesome idea and I really can’t wait for the product to become available. Bear has already expressed interest in it and I hope this will be an added source to his many educational activities. 🙂
For more information on ThinkofMagic Studios, click here.
Recently, I was called into jury duty. Being a working at-home mother (I write books in addition to being an influencer), I simply couldn’t do it. I sent the notice back telling the great people of LA County why I couldn’t serve on the jury.
A few months passed, and I received another notice from them: I was called in again and my “excuse” of being an at-home parent with a then-four-year-old wasn’t good enough. I was scheduled to report on a certain date and time.
I was pissed off, if I want to keep it 100. While my husband and I do make good money between the two of us, any disruption of that will cause a financial hardship. Every bill we have is accounted for and we’re on a budget since we’re saving for a home.
After my husband agreed to take a day off for me to go to jury service, I hurriedly got into my car and rushed way across town to L.A. Superior Court. Now, this is significant because I wasn’t assigned to a courthouse closer to me. The time spent in the car was close to 45 minutes for a one-way trip. I was also hitting rush-hour traffic for those heading to work.
After I arrived, managed to find cheap parking, and headed to the courthouse, the instructions on where jury duty was wasn’t exactly clear. I went on a different floor originally, just to go back down to a different floor. Then the room I was supposed to go to was changed to another room around the corner.
When I finally checked in, the woman clerk told me I was too late and they couldn’t use me. I was about 20 minutes late. I explained to her my situation as to why I was late and I told her I had to get last-minute child care because I stay at-home with my son. She asked how old my son was and I told her he was four.
She then proceeded to tell me that I would need to try harder to find child care and that she will excuse me for that time but I would have to report back in a few weeks (it would’ve been late October). I told her I couldn’t do it for the same reason why I was late; she said it didn’t matter. I told her flat-out, I would ignore the summons.
And I have.
So I complained to my mother about what happened and my mother listened to my rant. Finally, after hearing everything I had to say, she asked a simple question:
“Now, that you’re mad, what are you going to do about it?”
The question took me by surprise. I think in this day and age of people being mad and the whole ‘cancel culture’, no one actually takes their actions seriously. You’re mad at Kanye, but are you going to stop listening to his music? You’re mad at the politicians, but are you going to vote better people in office next time around?
Why you mad, bro?
My mother told me how she once wrote to numerous California politicians about a law she wanted to pass (I can’t remember the details). And the only politician who replied back to her was this guy:
Yeah, that’s two-time California Governor Jerry Brown.
I took my mother’s advice and decided I was going to write to pretty much every major California politician. I was even going to write to Satan-in-Chief himself.
Here was my letter:
I’m not sure if you would even read this email but here it goes.
I’m Crystal K. and I’m a stay at-home mother. My husband works for the City of X. I’m the primary caregiver for our son, four-year-old Bogdan. We don’t have any family that is close or nearby to watch our son.
I was recently called into jury duty. I told them originally I couldn’t do it because it would be a financial hardship since I’m the primary caregiver of our child. They only delayed, but did not excuse me entirely. When I was called again, I was late reporting because I had to find last-minute childcare. My husband had to stay home from work to watch our son during a time it is hard for us for him to miss any work.
When I showed up for jury duty, I was told I couldn’t sit through the orientation because I was late, even though I explained my situation. The clerk said it wasn’t an excuse. I told her I had a young son at home and I was the primary caregiver; she repeated it wasn’t an excuse. She gave me another date to report and I told her I would not show up because it would be the same issue.
I feel that is incredibly unfair to stay at-home parents who are the primary caregivers. Jury duty only pays $15 a day while child care pays $10 an hour. That is a huge discrepancy. This is for a healthy child. If a child has special needs, the cost is more.
I have researched online and it seems other states around the nation excuse stay at-home parents from jury duty, yet Los Angeles is the only one that does not. I feel that is incredibly disrespectful. If a parent can not afford jury duty because of the obvious child care cost discrepancy, how are they expected to be a fair and honest juror?
I feel a law should be enacted to exclude stay at-home parents from jury duty if they demonstrate a financial hardship.
I think this is a situation that needs to be addressed for the city of L.A.
So, I sent that letter to the following:
Gubernatorial candidate John Cox
Governor-elect Gavin Newsom
Senator Kamala Harris*
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Attorney General Xavier Becerra
State Senator Anthony J. Portatino
Assembly member Chris R. Holden
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti
And guess who wrote back to me? The bolded.
Kamala Harris has an underline with an asterisk because while she wrote back, it was very clear she didn’t read my letter at all. Like, bish, why humor me?
Senator Feinstein gave a very detailed response and I could tell her (or her staff) wrote it because they actually named Bo in the letter. So did the State Senator’s staff. Xavier Becerra told me he couldn’t help me because it was beyond his jurisdiction, but he recommended the state senators I could talk to about it.
I found it to be very interesting that the one person who I thought would look into this – Eric Garcetti – ignored my email entirely. I guess he’s too busy trying to set up of a rumored higher office run than care about what’s going on in L.A.?
I almost want to slap that bitch.
I don’t know if this law will ever pass or will it ever be considered enough to even hit the state senate floor. However, I tried and for now, that’s good enough. I hope to bring this up again and have it be considered a law in California that will benefit all at-home parents and caregivers.
So, I thank my mother for giving me the encouragement and strength to pursue this. That will forever be my motto now: ‘Now that I’m angry enough about something, what am I going to do about it?’
I am very fortunate to live near the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade. While I didn’t get to see the parade in person this year (we entered a lottery for tickets and sadly weren’t chosen), I was able to go view the floats the day after. I took Bear with me so he could experience seeing the floats like he did on TV.
If you ever come to Pasadena to view the parade, I do recommend staying to look at the floats. It’s an amazing experience and I think this just became a new favorite of mine for years to come.
It doesn’t cost hardly anything ($15 for general admission, kids 5 and under are free). I do recommend not to bring a stroller if you can help it. It gets rather crowded.
There are just so many pictures I decided to do a slideshow showcasing all of them. I hope you enjoy!