Monday, January 25, 2010

My Day

By Danelle Frisbie, photos © 2010


Slowly throughout the day my thoughts have been formulating into somewhat comprehensible words...

You see, as peaceful parenting gains more and more readers, we also gain more and more feedback. Which is great! Wonderful! I am so utterly thankful that this community of peaceful parenting moms and dads has formed - to support each other, encourage, empower, listen, share, and equip each one with resources to make a difference in their own circle of influence. We cannot change the world for all babies out there - but we can make a difference to ONE who is close to us. And each of us has a different 'one' that we know of right now. It is for this baby that I know now, that I work.

However, something has been happening as of late that I should have expected -- and really, should already be immune to. You see, the vast majority of feedback on any given peaceful parenting article is positive - encouraging. In fact, most is quite educated and reflective. Questions arise on occasion, and this is wonderful because it gives us an opportunity to dive deeper into answers that exist.

And with more readers comes more *love* -- but also more disdain. There are the occasional few who are very offended by any given subject matter that we deal with here at peaceful parenting.

There are those who believe circumcision will save the world (literally) and cite every debunked myth, and every Brian Morris and Edgar Schoen article out there, to support their pro-cutting stance.

There are people who believe that artificial baby feeding is superior to breastmilk because, after all, 'experts' have manufactured formula to be perfect. Right?

There are those who believe that children need to be hit - young, hard, and often - in order to learn a lesson. Or they will surely cause problems later in life.

There are people who believe that babies should sleep through the night by the time they are just weeks old, or something is wrong with them and they must learn now!

There are those who feel the 1-in-3 c-section rate is just fine and dandy, and after all, they are all emergencies! These women (myself included) are rescued from birth. Right? Pitocin doesn't do a thing. What domino effect? Epidurals are like candy for babies. It's all good.

There are people who feel that whatever the AAP or CDC or their doctor or their friendwhoisanurse or their mother tells them, is fact. Cold, hard, data that empirical science dare not mess with, or counter, or it surely is blasphemy!

And there are many, many, many who love, love, love to comment on articles before they actually READ the article. Or before they know anything more about the subject than their infallible doctor or friendwhoisanurse or mother has told them...

With such a wide audience, there is nothing that can be posted on peaceful parenting that someone, somewhere, will not take issue with it. No matter what the subject, and no matter how it is presented, there will be at least one person who gets thrown into a tizzy because of the post.

And, to put it simply, I got a little worn out this week from skimming over the *junk* that is sent my way as a result of the soaring popularity of this site.

As I mentioned, I thought I'd be immune to such reactions by now. I taught Human Development & Sexuality for many years - and this is one subject that everyone seems to think they know everything about. Just try to talk scientifically with someone about their sexual health - or the developing sexual well-being of their child. It is likely to be one of the more challenging areas of science. In fact, the same is also true of psychology (another graduate degree I indulged in). And when it comes to parenting...well, everyone knows someone who doesn't fit 'the rule' so this must mean that anything goes and nothing matters - or so I am told. And I am reminded of this often -- "Well, with MY babies we did such-and-such and they are just fine! So this research is bunk!" Hmmm. Yup. Must be.

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that you cannot argue logically with individual perceptions of reality. Humans, in general, are tightly bound to conventional wisdom - the "body of assertions and beliefs that is generally recognized as a part of a culture's common knowledge" (Ruane & Cerulo 2004). Conventional wisdom is as powerful as it is flawed, is central to modern day American society, and is more often than not the source of our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. It takes what C. Wright Mills called, "the sociological imagination" to move beyond our individual, (forgive my bluntness - but occasionally delusional), perceptions of reality, private views, personal experiences, and intimate beliefs, and to come to terms with those that are grounded in empirical, research-based evidence and humanity-wide experience. Readers of peaceful parenting require sociological imagination to reflect introspectively and evaluate their personal realm in light of broader social/cultural, historical, and scientific arenas. In fact, any time you delve into scholarly material in any area, sociological imagination is necessary. So, I understand. I'll choose to forgive the ignorance and the lashing-out via anonymous comment posts. The 'delete' button is just a finger's reach away.

In any event, my feelings as of late have been compounded by the fact that there was one baby (boy) born a few weeks ago who I failed to save. He was cut up at birth so as to carry the scars that match his father's. And, also, because his mother thought his amputated little baby penis would be easier to clean than an intact, whole penis. Obviously no research had been done (though ample amounts were sent their way). Clearly there were no discussions with parents who have both circumcised and intact sons -- or they would be ready, willing and able to share the facts of this matter. An intact infant is 'cleaner' and easier to care for any day or night of the week than one who has been subject to surgical amputation after birth.

In addition, there will be another boy born shortly to parents I also know personally. Those who, again, refuse to read into the matter -- beyond the Googled pop media coverage on MSN, Yahoo headlines, and the Morris-and-Schoen sponsored websites (why DO these sites have to pop up first in Google searches?!). In this case Mom doesn't care one way or another about her son's well-being. (Which honestly, trips my brain just a tad -- how can you grow a baby within for 40+ weeks and not care about whether or not he has his one of his most prized body organs painfully chopped apart after birth?! Where does the mothering instinct to PROTECT above all go in cases like this??) So this little one will be cut -- again, to match his father. And no one cares much to pay attention to what is being taken from him. How he will be impacted. What his first days on earth will be like. What this will do to him. How he will respond to such trauma. And what he may have liked to have as a choice as an adult with a fully functioning body. But, after all, newborn babies don't have basic human rights. Do they?

We received word last night that a few of the articles here on peaceful parenting that we were granted permission to post about several months ago are now going to be re-sold as for-profit print publications. As a result, they can no longer be posted here. Those who own the copyright are certainly entitled to this, but it is unfortunate as they are frequently read articles - those which help and encourage many parents out there. Needless to say, I was kind of bummed. $$$ always trumps - even here at pp I guess.

So, with all this festering in my mind, today I took a break from the world.

My cell phone was turned off.

No emails were read.

No messages answered.

No responses formed.

Articles went unedited.

Proposals were left lonely on my desk.

Books begging to be reviewed had to wait.

Instead, my son (17-months & 35-pounds of pure joy!) and I went out on a day-long adventure together.


Our first stop was the National Aquarium. We sat and watched the turtles and the fish and the alligators romp and swim and play. My son ran around and led me to the best aquarium animals to see - with glowing excitement on his face each time he found a new *favorite*. We climbed up on the ledges and peered over railings. We imagined we were fish. S~w~i~m~m~i~n~g. No cares in the world but when we'd get that next tasty morsel to eat. It was a great day to lose myself in the watery world of imaginative toddler play.


Next we ventured over to the White House -- or, more specifically, the park in front of the White House. This is another favorite of my son's because the squirrels here are hand-fed by the war protesters who camp out in front of the White House 24-7. As a result, they are ubber friendly and chatter away as they run up and over your feet begging for a squirrel-scrumptious treat.


My son ran and played and chased the squirrels and we were asked several times if we could pose for a picture with foreign travelers snapping images of the White House. I'm not sure how well my son does at representing the 'average U.S. toddler'... but if that is what they want a picture of, he is happy to oblige with a friendly spirit and a big ol' smile on his face.


After the fish and the squirrels we stopped by Whole Foods (a favorite) for a bite to eat. For some reason Whole Foods is one of very few stores around D.C. where I really feel at home. Not sure if this says something about me. Or something about the store. Maybe a little of both. There is a big sign in the elevator right now with pictures of cattle in a field, that encourages patrons to "learn where your food comes from". Something I, too, feel is very important. I hope to raise children who participate in the process of growing and harvesting and really think deeply about why and how the item they are about to consume is on their plate. To digest not only the food, but the process, from field or animal, to harvest or slaughter, to fridge or stove, to plate and mouth. There is too much that goes on in-between that matters - that which we are not in the habit of learning and contemplating.

After our snack of grapes and an apple and steamed asparagus and black beans (I'm thankful my son prefers vegetables) and a couple jalapeno poppers (my indulgence), he snoozed while we ventured back to our neighborhood. Upon arrival, it was raining. And where there is rain - there are puddles! And where puddles and toddlers meet, there is laughter and fun to be had.


So we tromped out of our vehicle and took a much needed rain walk.

The goal? To see who could splash THE BIGGEST. The smallest. The most. The fastest. The s-l-o-w-e-s-t.

To experiment - does a stick make different ripples than a rock?

Does the wet grass feel different on my feet than the wet sand?

These are the things that toddler minds are made of and ours was on full throttle learning.

Our rain, our puddles, our water, was just what I needed. It served to wash away the crud that had built up over the past weeks as a result of negative things beyond my control.


I sometimes need to let go. Even when it is hard to do. Even when it hurts like crazy and breaks my heart into pieces.

Because, unfortunately, as much as I would like to have the ubiquitous power to do so, I am not in a position to save everyone. From my meager little position in life, I can only do so much.

Ah, yes, I wish often that I had 72 hours in every day. That I had my own personal jet to fly off and answer each and every pressing question that is passed my way. Or to help in times of call or crisis. I wish I had Oprah's influence to end MGM and provide all human babies with human milk. And speaking of Oprah - I wish, too, that I had her money to buy every new parent a co-sleeper/side-car, a subscription to Mothering, The Baby Bond, a Moby Wrap, and an Ergo. I wish I could stay up all night, every night, to feed and rock and comfort your baby - so that you could sleep and no tears would be shed from anyone at your house. Sometimes, I wish so much...

As my son and I rounded the corner for home - soaking wet from head to toe and filled to the brim with love and laughter from our wet winter walk - we paused to get the mail from our box.

Now, on any other day this would be an insignificant event and there would be no reason to tell you. But today, there was something special in the mail that I've never before received - a little treasure that instantly changed the world in a small way.

You see, there was a card from one of you -- from someone I've come to know only online as a result of peaceful parenting. It was from a mother who has requested before that I send a "Prepuce & Circumcision Information Pack" to her friend about to birth a boy. She lives in rural town, USA, where she sometimes feels alone in her gentle mothering ways. Her words touched my soul as I read of how encouraging it has been for her to become a part of the peaceful parenting community. She thanked me for providing this opportunity to get to know the rest of you. My heart smiled. There are few things I love more than connecting people to each other. Sometimes us crunchy parents could really use another one in our pack.

As if her grateful words of kindness were not enough, this mother's card contained something else, too.

She said that she was sending a little $ to reimburse me for the cost of the pack that I had sent to her friend. (Circumcision information packs are $10 each for printing and DVD materials - a bill which adds up quickly with all the requests we receive when people are unable to pay for them, and one I have repeatedly broke my bank account to pay for, because I feel that EVERY baby boy is worth $10).

But as I opened the check, I couldn't keep the tears from rolling down my face when I realized the amount she was sending was much, much more than the cost of her friend's pack. Her gift is enough to provide information packs for many more families out there. It is enough to change countless lives through education. Generations will be impacted by this mother's gift when the babies to be born are protected at birth, peacefully parented, grow up to become gentle fathers and mothers, who in turn protect their own babies.

Just as I was losing hope -- feeling very much like "I can't do this all alone!" -- encouragement arrives in a way I never imagined. And it tells me for sure that there are many of you out there who care just as much as I do. You who are willing to put your own time and resources and energy and anything it takes on the line to make the world a little more friendly to live in. To save just one more - and impact life forever. In her outstanding book, Why Love Matters, Sue Gerhardt describes how her research in neurology and psychology led her to believe something I, too, have found true throughout my years of study. "If the will and resources were available, the harm done to one generation need not be transmitted to the next: a damaged child need not inevitably become a damaged and damaging parent," (Gerhardt 2004).

Gerhardt goes on to use the analogy of a house that has been poorly built. We can continue to pour money into this house, and the problems that arise may be temporarily curtailed. But nothing changes the fact that the house was not well built, with a solid foundation, and one that would otherwise hold up to the storms that surmount. The poorly built house will always be high maintenance and will never function as optimally built houses are meant to. "Likewise with human beings whose foundations have not been well built," writes Gerhardt. "Although expensive repairs may be undertaken later in life, the building stage - when adjustments can be made - is largely over. For prevention to be effective, it needs to be targeted at the point when it can make the most difference," (Gerhardt 2004). And these foundations -- by far thee most important times of a developing human's life -- are the first 3 years on this earth. It is at this time that the brain is shaped and built. Emotions and social style are learned. And the next generation is woven together. Parenting matters! Big time. And as a result, our efforts to empower and inform and equip those around us is vitally important - to that mother or father, to their baby and child, and to the future we will see unfold around us.

So tonight, as my day draws to a close and I tuck my son into (our) bed with stories and love and momma milk, I have a heart that is refilled with hope for a peacefully parented world.

Thank you, Jesse, and all the others who have encouraged me along this journey.





References

Gerhardt, Sue. (2004). Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain. Routledge: NY.

Ruane, Janet & Cerulo, Karen. (2004). Second Thoughts: Seeing Conventional Wisdom Through the Sociological Eye. Pine Forge Press: Thousand Oaks, CA.



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38 comments:

  1. Keep up the wonderful work Danelle, we love you! :) I too understand the very real desire to save every mother and every baby that I am acquainted with. I want to give them all a copy of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, a sleepywrap, a breastfeeding help book, Anti circ info, vaccine information videos, and instructions to side-car their crib!
    Obviously not nearly to the extent that you do, but all the same, it's heartbreaking at times when you know they could have simply made a different choice and spared so much pain for all involved, had they just bothered to take your advice. But I know first hand that there are mothers and babies who have been positively impacted, and yes, saved from genital mutilation because of your wonderful articles I have passed on to them. I'm sure those little boys would be forever grateful to you if they knew.
    From one Frisby to another... :)
    Thankyou!

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  2. Danelle, you are an amazing mother/woman, and the amount of time you (Obviously) spend on "Peaceful Parenting" is astounding and well appreciated ....especially by the many many people out here that understand the stress and the frustration of "Parenting Activism". I'm glad that you took a break to enjoy a day with your boy. Sometimes we all have to just close the shop for the day and run off for a mini vacation- every battery needs to be recharged occasionally ;>)
    I have so much I would love to say to you, but I don't want to take up your whole comments page, lol, and I'm thinking that we'll chat sometime in the future....

    For now- HUGS, and remember: Don't let the turkeys get you down! ;>)
    love Dani

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  3. Great post. When it comes to parenting everyone's an expert and no one is at the same time. If I've learned anything in becoming an expert in my own line of work it's that the tighter you hold your beliefs, the more likely you are to be wrong (oh, the one privilege of being overly educated...cause it sure doesn't pay well). Kudos to you for your peaceful parenting advocacy. Given that pp is unconventional and goes against the conventional beliefs of too many parents, you are bound to face some push back. You are questioning social norms and truisms that are increasingly having no place in modern society. People are often uncomfortble with that. You are lucky to have readers that are willing to reach out and show you support. like the woman you mentioned in your post.

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  4. I was one of those moms who didn't really research circumcision. I wanted to do it for cosmetic reasons and used the HIV studies as justification. My husband, who is cut, insisted on leaving him intact. Honestly, had he left it up to me, I probably would have left him intact because I wouldn't want to care for a wound, but those who don't research don't want to

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  5. God bless you. Thank you. Your work matters a lot.

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  6. Amazing post, Danelle - so very moving. Isn't it funny, so many of us activists seem to be going through this sort of mental break-down/exhaustion right at the moment (myself included). Keep on truckin', my love. I am honoured to stand beside you, to call you "friend", and to continue contributing in no small way to the rising trend of PP.
    Hang in there, Danelle. God knows the world needs more like you.
    xx

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  7. This post warmed my heart immensely! I am also friends with you on Facebook and I had wondered about the encouragement you spoke of in your status. I am glad to get the answer... but even more glad to hear what the answer was. I have been blessed with beautiful daughters. No sons for me to make a personal difference with. I have through your facebook posts saved a little boy of a friend though... and that makes my world! That means through YOUR facebook posts YOU have saved that little boy. You are amazing and you are a hero to EVERY SINGLE LITTLE BOY that has been saved because someone in their life has had contact with you. Call me naive but I had no idea that there was cost involved or that you that you sent out packages of information. Perhaps that comes from being on the fringe of the movement that you are such a monumental part of. If I may make a suggestion.... though I know that this may go against the grain... perhaps a little information blurb on your blog about what you would do with donations and perhaps a donation button. I know that I don't have a ton to spare... but the knowledge that as little as $10 could change the course of a little boys life makes that $10 far more important than the $20 that I might spend at the movie theater... and there are a lot of people out there who are looking for places to send the little bit that they donate. Peaceful parenting is such a worthy cause. perhaps you could see a little bit of that.
    Melissa Ryall Haynie

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  8. I am so glad you got the encouragement you needed. Because every day you spend your time and energy encouraging the rest of us. And we really are thankful! :)
    Im glad you had such a great day with Juneau!! makes me me want to take a day with my daughter. perhaps this weekend I will :)

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  9. I feel for you, as I too feel like there is only so much I can do. I don't have the calling to "preach" about the things I feel passionate about and hope that my life and choices will be an example. Maybe they will even bring about a small change in someone's life. It is great that you see fit to lead in a more outspoken approach.

    It is difficult to hear such responses from others, especially when we "know" we're right. I agree with you about a lot of things, but not everyone sees what we see. It's unfortunate, but the way it is. I wonder if you would like me to preach to you about my religous beliefs as absolute truth for all, if you do not beleive the same. I know I am right in those things, but maybe you don't agree. Who is to say that you have to open your heart to my beliefs or turn to my way of thinking. I think this is how a lot of people think of the things you are standing for. It's radical, and it's not what they believe to be true. Or, maybe, it's not what they want to be true. That would make them wrong, right?

    Your convictions about peaceful parenting are like my religous beliefs. I still know them to be true, even if you say they're not. I may even be sad for your children who you will "lead astray" by not rearing them with those beliefs. But, that is your choice. Aside from the circumcision issue, which should be the child's choice, the other things are a choice. If we do not have those freedoms, what will we be? We might be better off if we choose to follow your opinions, but unless we see the truth in them for ourselves, we will only be mindlessly following another way.

    I hope this does not seem combative, but encouraging. Live the way you see fit. talk about issues that you are passionate about. Do it in love with grace and mercy for all who hear, and hearts will be changed. Maybe not all of them, but that is the gift God has given us. The gift of free will. It isn't always lovely, but without it we are slaves.

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  10. Sweetie, your voice has helped carry me through several difficult, heated, discussions over parenting, circumcision, and nutrition. My eyes welled up at the happy ending to this story. The power of one voice is echoed, though, far away from you, and babies and parents are changed every day.

    The one thing that I have learned in all these difficult discussions is the more they rebel, and spew hateful nonsense, deep down, they know they are wrong, and their pride stands in the way. Barriers are being broken. A new generation is growing up with more compassion and patience than those that went before them.

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  11. what a lovely post! thanks so much:)

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  12. This was a beautiful post. You blog means so much to me and I want you to know that I have a friend that didn't circ her son because of the information you provide. Sometimes it feels like it's us against the world (or country), but you remind me that I am not alone. Your blog changed my life. Keep up the fight!

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  13. I just wanted to thank you for all the wonderful information you provide, and to share a story.

    Just yesterday there was a circ discussion on a friend's FB page. I shared two of your posts (the circ stats one and this one: http://www.drmomma.org/2009/10/how-male-circumcision-impacts-your-love.html ).

    Another friend messaged me privately afterward. She is the mom of an 18-year-old intact son and the decision was important to her and her husband and made after a lot of research and education.

    Over the years, though, her son has had a lot of body image issues (like many teenagers!), to the point that at 16 he asked his parents to let him be circumcised. They made the appt. and he cancelled the day before the surgery was scheduled.

    She was telling me about how hard it's been to watch him struggle and suffer for their decision, even though she believed it to be right. She said if she had it to do again, she wasn't sure she'd do the same thing.

    Well, she sent me another message this morning and said that last night her husband had printed out the love life post and given it to their son. He then *thanked* them for leaving him intact and said he would do the same for his kids someday.

    She said it almost made all the years of mom-guilt worth it. ;)

    You're doing good in the world.

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  14. You have saved two babies as a result of my sending the mamas your way...
    You are a phenomenal woman with an extraordinary soul.
    ~Colleen

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  15. Thank you for sharing and writing.

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  16. I really appreciate this blog. It is definitely one of my favorites. I hope that with blogs like yours we can change the culture of parenting. Thanks to information like that you share, my lovely son is intact and I have been able to encourage other parents to leave their new babies intact, too. So you never know what impact you may be having!

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  17. I just want to thank you for all that you do and for your wonderful blog.

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  18. I would find it hard to describe just how much your 'my day' post resonated with me. So I'll just say I'm sending you big, huge hugs across the Atlantic :)

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  19. Bless you Danelle! You are an inspiration to me and so many others.

    I wish we could save them all too, my heart breaks for the babies in your life that have been cut or will be. My 5 brothers and 3 nephews all are as well, and it is hard to see that pain passed on to yet another generation.

    Your words reach so many though, and have touched countless lives. To know that even ONE boy will grow up whole because of you is amazing, and you have certainly helped so much more than one.

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  20. I'm a newbie to your blog and am already in love. Thanks for taking the time and effort to blog about such an important topic - rasing our children!

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  21. Wow, The comments on here are just amazing. Don't give up Danelle! Babies lives are forever transformed because of you. That doesn't even take into consideration the boys future wives and children being transformed. Plus there are all the parents, families and friends who are released from the burden of wrong decisions.

    I will keep praying for this site and your daily rejuvenation to face the good and bad that comes along with it!

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  22. I am one of your blog's new readers and I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful work you do and the excellent information you provide!!

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  23. A friend posted a link to one of your posts a few months ago around the time i found out i was pregnant. Part of me hoped for a third girl so i would not have to fight over not cutting my son. We found out a few weeks ago that it is indeed a baby boy. Your post have given me just a ton of infomation to fight that our son stay intact, something my husband does not want. Keep up the good work and know you changed my view to stick up for this. I also live in rural America like your friend and it does feel lonely parenting like this.

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  24. This was beautiful. Thank you.

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  25. Lovely... you found a way to express in words what I cannot. I love seeing these posts as they pop-up on my Facebook page and am always excited to read what you have found/think. Keep up the good work and know that many of us are sending good karma your way when we can't afford to send money! :) <3

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  26. Ach that post brought tears to my eyes. I am so thankful for the information you provide and disseminate here. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    And, though I have girls, if I ever do have a boy, he will remain totally intact. I used to think I'd let my husband decide (because he has the penis) but after coming here to learn, I know I could never let that happen.

    Thank you for everything you do!

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  27. I'm a fairly recent reader to your site, but a massive 'convert' (like I needed converting.. my heart was in it from the beginning!) to peaceful/natural parenting styles. However, even in this short time I have seen how much good you do, and am grateful for both the opportunity to be educated as well as the nudge I needed to follow through on peaceful parenting decisions.

    Thank you.

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  28. Beautiful post. The work that you do is sooo important and spreads just like the ripples in the puddles that you talk about. I am new to your blog, but look forward to reading it every morning. Keep up the great work.

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  29. (crying as I type) As I sat today and watched a sweet baby girl be fed nasty poison powder; and my breasts ached to feed her REAL living food. I almost cried (I was at my BFFs shower so I didn't want to make a scene). It is so rough when you KNOW that their lives would be happier with an attached lifestyle.. We can change the world- one being at a time.. I sooooo feel what you wrote and I could have written some of those exact words. A baby left to CIO, or not given the breast for comfort- I am overcome with sadness. Keep doing what you're doing.. It will make a difference!!

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  30. Danelle, thank you so much for your advocating non circ! I enjoyed reading the pack I printed up that you sent me and am sharing it with whomever I can. You are an essential inspiration to many of us Mothers! -Barb Smalley

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  31. The Holy Spirit led me to your blog today - after a bible study group where I had to keep my eyes from rolling after hearing "I had to be induced with all of mine because I just wasn't going to go into labor..." yadayadayada....

    Gee, and you know women who stayed pregnant forever????

    I loved the post about the superior attitude, btw. You just keep on blogging - you're sowing seeds :-)

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  32. We were both procirc until we had our baby. While bfing at night, I did lots of research. I saw someone say that their baby was perfect the way he was born and I thought so's mine.

    So I did more research and found Peaceful Parenting. I read everything that was linked on your site and saw pictures of a circ.

    Hubs was still procirc, I talked to him about how evil it is and told him I wanted to cancel the appt, so I gave him your link, told him to read it asap, and give me his decision.

    Within minutes he came upstairs and told me to cancel the appt!

    My baby boy was spared a lifetime of problems and a world of pain because of you.

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  33. I have been a fan of yours and your articles for a while and follow a little closer through Facebook. I just wanted to say how beautiful your article was. How pure and raw the words were.

    Your passion is healing and through that you have made countless differences in the lives of so many parents, children and communities. For that I am thankful. It is so hard when we wish or wanted enough to make it seem that we are making a difference because often we forget by helping just 1 person- we are changing the world. Remember that.

    When we heal the feminine we CAN heal the world. Your work is healing to so many. My life is blissful, but I do have a husband and 1 son both who are circumcised. I was uneducated and didn't know the difference. Now as I type this to you I am snuggling my 9 week old baby girl. Our boys are 8 and 9 both from previous relationships - 1 for each of us. She was our uniter for our family, but if she was a boy we would have done things differently- I know better now. I can't live with regret or questioning but I can grow, heal and make different choices next time. Through your work you are making a difference. Through your work you are helping women all over the world heal. Through your work you are.

    So perhaps my thoughts seem distracted, but to say the least I hope this makes sense!

    Sending you love, blissful blessings and hugs full of peace!

    Thank you for all you are doing.

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  34. When I take a break from the unneccessary trappings of life (e-mail, Facebook, etc.), I call it cocooning. I'm going inside myself so I can grow stronger. Hopefully it's something beautiful that comes out on the other side.

    Try to not get discouraged. Remember that if nothing else, you are planting seeds. They may take a while to grow, but it is NOT a wasted effort.
    Also know that some of us learn the lesson more thoroughly by making mistakes. The people you mentioned that chose to NOT do research (or chose to cut despite the research) may have been making a mistake, but the damage done on the inside CAN be repaired - even if the physical scars are still there.
    Hang in there!

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  35. This was amazing to read... and on today of all days. I've been struggling lately with some of the very same things you mention in the first part of the article. I've been dealing with others who believe they know everything because after all, "I was spanked, circumcised, left to cry, etc... and I turned out all right" And they refuse to listen. They refuse to learn. And even though I do little more than share articles and information on my Facebook page, I am often attacked as though I am attacking others simply by posting a link.

    These people, for some reason, feel free to bash and belittle my point of view but if I feel free to post an article about the dangers of spanking or CIO, without even stating my own opinion on the matter, I am treated with contempt. And as little as their acid tongue comments should mean to me, I still shed tears for their children. Knowing that mom and/or dad, the ones who are supposed to protect them, won't even so much as read something just because it's something different than what they already know.

    These things end up making me feel more and more isolated from the rest of society. That's fine... whatever. Because of that, I have discovered more groups like Peaceful Parenting, Zen Parenting, Motherwise, Saving Our Sons, etc. And I feel more encouraged, supported and empowered to continue to do what I know is right with my daughter and I will not be bullied into being quiet. Every baby matters and my heart is broken to pieces for them when I know there is nothing I can do.

    I too want to hold every baby who is crying, alone at night in a crib. I want to melt down all the tools of mutilation and fling myself between newborn baby boy and a dr who swore to do no harm. I want to cuddle every crying toddler as they try to figure out why mommy or daddy has hit them and how that fits into their world. I want to make child abuse truly illegal so those children don't have to feel that in the first place. Children are people too and they DO HAVE the same rights as the rest of us.

    Most of all, I want to educate those that don't know any better and those that refuse to know any better. I know that every parent wants what is best for their child, I just want the perception of what is best to be better.

    Thanks for reading my rant and thanks for all that you do. <3

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  36. I absolutely love the PP blog. I re post certain stories sometimes and hope others will adopt the peaceful way. It makes my soul smile. Peaceful parenting just feels right. Its that feeling deep in your gut and heart that you cant explain. Its how you feel when you see your beautiful baby sleeping with a belly full of breastmilk. I have some really frustrating days but knowing there are so many wonderful and beautiful women going through the same trials as me makes dealing a whole lot easier. We are changing the future. Thank you so much for your dedication and hard work. It does not go unnoticed.

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