“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. “
Or pick up a hard copy at your local Seattle library!
“Forget power tools and whiskey stones — all these transgender parents want for Father’s Day this year is to be with the ones they love. Some, who transitioned prior to becoming a parent, had to navigate adoption agencies, fertility clinics, and home births before welcoming their new tiny humans into the world. Others transitioned later in life, maturing into motherhood while renegotiating their relationships with older children who remember them as Dad.
They may be diverse in their gender identities, parenting styles, ages, and experiences, but just like cisgender fathers, these parents all share one important thing in common: an overflowing, unconditional love for their children and their chosen families.”
Read the full article here!