When the sun doesn’t shine and it’s too wet to play, and you’re stuck in the house on a cold, wet day, it’s time to get creative with paint, glue and clay! Here’s how three local families and artists make the most of Seattle’s rainy season.
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Art Director: Boo Davis // Photographer: Joshua Huston // Managing Editor: Sydney Parker
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Photo: Portia Smith
While expecting her first baby, Redmond mom Sarah Fong assumed that she would one day post precious photos of her child on Facebook and Instagram just like everyone else in her social network. But after her daughter arrived, Fong reconsidered. A number of family members were randomly sharing photos of other relatives’ children on social media without permission. She realized that once you post a photo online, you lose control over it. “I didn’t want some weird creeper using her picture for lewd and salacious acts,” says Fong.
Her concerns may sound paranoid to some, but they aren’t unfounded. On any given day, over 17,000 devices in Washington state are being used by predators to trade images of children. The Child Rescue Coalition (CRC), a nonprofit organization that tracks over one million unique pre-pubescent abuse image and video files traded on the Internet every day, reports that child predators actively seek out popular hashtags such as #bathtime, #pottytraining, #nakedkids and #toddlerbikini to find photos of children in states of undress. Unfortunately, with the rise of the internet, pedophiles are now able to easily trade photos, tips and techniques on how to seduce and lure children into sexual encounters. A secondary consequence of this horrifying anonymous social sharing is that it gives the offenders the mistaken impression that this behavior is normal and therefore acceptable.
“The demographic of the child predator has shifted from the creepy old man in the basement to young men between the ages of 17 and 36 years old,” says SPD Internet Crime Against Children Task Force Commander Mike Edwards. “Often these men are married or in a relationship and have professional careers.”
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Photo: Joshua Huston
When Seattle entrepreneur April Pride was tapped to design a cannabis lifestyle brand for women, she was ecstatic — but trepidatious. “I knew that it was a great opportunity from a professional standpoint, but at the same time, it meant that I was going to have to be really open about my personal life,” says Pride. As the mother of two young boys, Pride had to consider the impact of this cannabis-centered career move on her family.
Pride built Van der Pop, a female-focused line of cannabis accessories, out of her house while her kids were on summer break. “We’d have to take measurements, so cannabis was on the kitchen table,” says Pride. “My kids know what it looks like, they know what it smells like, they know the different ways you can consume it — they’re really in this with me.”
Although Pride never uses cannabis in front of her children, she has no qualms about enjoying its high in their presence. “Cannabis allows me to slow down and not be so concerned about the things that can wait,” says Pride.
Pride hopes that owning her usage will cultivate open lines of communication about cannabis when her kids hit the teen years. “All I can really do is ask my kids to be responsible, because I think it’s naive to think that they will abstain,” says Pride.
Since Seattle’s first legal recreational pot shops opened in 2014, many parents, educators and researchers have wondered about the potential impact on kids. The cannabis on the market today is different than what was available even 10 years ago and eye-catching billboards are everywhere.
But has advertising, greater accessibility, and an increased prevalence of adults using marijuana changed teen usage rates in Washington since legalization took effect?
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN SEATTLE’S CHILD MAGAZINE
“On this Purim weekend (March 10-12) Jewish families all over the Seattle area will dress up in costumes, make traditional treats, read from the Megillah (the story of Esther) and watch a funny and interactive shpiel (play) that tells the holiday’s origin story. The lively events are open to anyone and provide a fun opportunity for kids to celebrate and learn about Jewish history and culture.
Although there are many variations on the Purim story, the basics are as follows: Esther was a Jewish woman in ancient Persia raised by her Uncle Mordecai. The villain of the story is Haman, an adviser to King Ahasuerus who has a wicked plan to kill all of the Jews. Esther conceals her Jewish identity and is chosen by the King to be his new Queen. With Mordecai’s encouragement, Esther bravely reveals to the King that she is Jewish and asks him to save her people from Haman’s evil plot. The King respects Esther’s wishes and the Jews are saved.”
Photo: Joshua Huston
“Growing up on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Daniel Pak knew that music was in his blood. His father was a jazz pianist and taught him to play scales around age 6. In a few years, he had advanced to performing pieces by Mozart and Beethoven. But it wasn’t until he taught himself acoustic guitar at 13 that his passion was truly ignited. “That’s when I really found that music was more than just lessons. Music was something that would be with me every day,” says Pak.
Pak has fond memories of kanikapila, impromptu music jam sessions with friends. “We’d all go to the beach. Someone would bring ukuleles and guitars, someone would bring bongos. We’d play music and listen to the waves coming in and the palm trees rustling,” says Pak. Today — minus the beach, palm trees and crashing waves — Pak tries to “perpetuate that tradition here in Seattle.”
Photo: Joshua Huston
“As a little boy growing up in Holland, Marc van Steenis loved to chase snakes and lizards around on family vacations. His fascination with animals evolved into a degree in zoology, and a collection of around 800 to 1,500 creatures, including reptiles, amphibians and large bugs. Luckily, his wife and two children don’t mind.
“They grew up around these animals, so they are used to it now,” says van Steenis. “They love to pet the cute reptiles like baby geckos and tortoises, but they are less interested in the snakes. Snakes pretty much just eat, sleep and poop.”
When he’s not busy raising his kids, ages 8 and 10, he travels around the city as the Seattle Reptile Guy, presenting his menagerie in classrooms, at children’s birthday parties, and even for corporate team-building events.
“In my experience,” says van Steenis, “when people see and touch animals at a young age, they are more likely to care about them for the rest of their lives.'”
Jocelyn Skillman, Youth and Family Therapist. Photo: Joshua Huston
“What Seattle’s children are anxious about today might surprise you. While many are afraid of the dark or getting bad grades, some local mental health professionals say others worry about Mt. Rainier erupting and Donald Trump becoming president.
Regardless of the source, anxiety is a natural part of being alive. When we perceive danger, our thoughts race, our heart rate increases, stress hormones pump and our breath becomes shallow. This physiological response compels us into action when a real threat is present, or it’s time to perform a challenging task. But when the anxiety is prolonged and irrational, it can become a barrier to fully engaging in life. “
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