Two quick thoughts before delving into Good News Friday this week: 1, A Happy New Year and an easy Yom Kippur fast to my fellow Jews out there; I fast every year but I don’t think I can pull it off this time, thanks to the new little dude in my house who wakes me up every three hours. I am learning to live without much sleep, but for me to go without sleep AND food for 24 hours? Sorry God, I’m sitting out this year.
And two, this doesn’t really have any place in today’s blog but I came across it Thursday and it cracked me up big-time: A TV editor named Ryan Case was on a flight recently behind an unruly passenger, and Case, God bless her, live-tweeted everything this horrible woman was saying and doing. It’s hilarious, check it out here, you won’t be sorry.
“Parenthood,” a show I often hate-watch but more often love and just get mad at it sometimes, is back for a final season, and that’s good news because as imperfect as it is, it’s still a wonderful show with great heart.
Last season infuriated me at times, mostly because of the idiotic “Christina running for mayor” storyline, but there was so much other good stuff that I was eagerly anticipating this year.
And through two episodes, “Parenthood” is back in fine form. (NO SPOILERS FROM LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE AHEAD, I PROMISE). The season premiere last week was fabulous, setting up the Amber pregnancy storyline (it’s in her contract that Mae Whitman has to cry every week, right?), Zeke maybe having a serious health condition, and of course, this year’s equally-insane Christina and Adam story about them opening a charter school just for their son Max (it’s insane not because it’s a bad idea, but because these people are broke, and have no idea how to run a school yet we’re just supposed to believe they can do it.)
Can’t wait to see if Joel and Julia get back together, and if somehow I can stop hating the Sarah-Hank relationship.
“Parenthood” being back makes me happy.
**The power of a commercial is often exaggerated, but if this beautiful Budweiser ad about the dangers of drunken driving makes even one person stop before grabbing the keys, it’s worth it.
I think it’s a really terrific ad, and I’m not even a dog person.
**Next up, I was reading the Sunday New York Times last week, catching up on older issues from early September, and read a typically-fabulous Nicholas Kristof column about an organization called the Nurse Family Partnership. What it does is send trained, qualified nurses into the homes of vulnerable first-time moms and their babies.
The nurses make repeated home visits from pregnancy until the child is 2, and they advise mothers on literally everything they need to know about caring for infants.
It’s a wonderful non-profit that is having a tremendous effect on helping parents raise children more effectively. Just check out this passage from Kristof’s article:
“The (Nurse-Family Partnership) visits have been studied extensively through randomized controlled trials — the gold standard of evidence — and are stunningly effective. Children randomly assigned to nurse visits suffer 79 percent fewer cases of state-verified abuse or neglect than similar children randomly assigned to other programs. Even though the program ends at age 2, the children at age 15 have fewer than half as many arrests on average. At the 15-year follow-up, the mothers themselves have one-third fewer subsequent births and have spent 30 fewer months on welfare than the controls. A RAND Corporation study found that each dollar invested in nurse visits to low-income unmarried mothers produced $5.70 in benefits.”
Yes of course because I’m a new parent I’m more interested in these kinds of organizations than ever before. But truly, NFP is doing outstanding work, and they sadly do not get anywhere near the funds they need.
To find out more or make a donation, check out their website here.