Weekly Parenting News Roundup

Cross-posted at Daily Kos.

Good morning fellow moms, dads and caregivers!

I am back with your weekly parenting news update. Here are some topics we recently discussed here at MotherTalkers:

This week we sadly mourned the loss of one of our moms, Janet Carol Lane Eaton, who was known as “Janetle” at both MotherTalkers and Daily Kos. She died of colon cancer at the age of 56.

For those of us fortunate to have known Janet either virtually or offline, she was an attorney by trade who left a job at a law firm to raise two children who are now in their 20s. She was smart, thoughtful and not afraid to hold back on her opinions. She was an inspiration to all of us and will be missed.

We were also shaken by the death of actress Natasha Richardson who died at the age of 45 from a freak skiing accident. She left behind her husband and two teenaged boys. While there is much talk in the media whether a helmet would have saved her, one thing we can all agree on is to hold our children as often as we can and never hold back from our loved ones.

Another topic that dominated the news this week, was the birthrate in the United States. More children were born in 2007 than at any other time in our country’s history, even at the peak of the baby boom 50 years ago. Some of the increase was due to the number of babies born to single, teenaged and Hispanic mothers. About 40 percent of those births were to single moms, again, more than at any other time in our history. But analysts expect less people to have children now that we are in a recession.

Also, in case you missed it, Eric Carle’s famous book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is 40 years old. Newsweek had a story about the author, who is now 80-years-old and living in Key West, Florida. Anyways, La Oruga Muy Hambrienta, Colores and Oso pardo, oso pardo, ¿qué ves ahí? are three of my children’s favorite books. I found two of the three books in the foreign language kid section of Barnes & Noble. They also like the Dr. Seuss books, the “dinosaur” series by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague, and some “junk” books we found at the Scholastic Book Fair like Star Wars and Dora. What are your children’s favorite books?

Speaking of Dora, what do you think of the new doll to be introduced in the fall? Here is a picture of her at 10-years-old.

Also, we discussed the desperate measures some schools are taking to make up for budget shortfalls such as leasing cell tower space on school premises and selling ad space on exams. You have got to read some of our reader comments especially in regards to the ad space. They are funny!  

Finally, we discussed at what age children should receive allowances. There seemed to be agreement, at least on our site, that children should learn to earn and save money at around 7 years of age, but no money should be tied to household chores. This made sense to me.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


Midday Coffee Break

Again, I have thought of no one else but our Janet Eaton aka “Janetle” today. My husband was also sad to hear the news as she was a frequent commenter at Daily Kos.

I plan to send two cards to the addresses provided at her blog Mukilteo Musings.

One is a sympathy card for the family, which will say, “We are so very sorry for your loss. As millions of people witnessed on the blogs Daily Kos and MotherTalkers, Janet was an intelligent and compassionate woman who was not afraid to stand up for her beliefs.

She was clearly a loving wife and mother who was proud of the family she had raised. For me, personally, these are the words that will always remain with me:

It really is interesting to learn to live life one day at a time and to enjoy small gifts each day.

One thing I now do not regret is that I left the practice of law as an attorney to be an at home Mom.  I cannot tell you how glad I am now.  My kids are 20 and 23 and I did not miss out on a thing.

May you find peace and solace during this difficult time. Peace and love from Elisa Batista and all the MotherTalkers

I am also sending the family a Daily Kos-themed card:

Dear Janet,

Thank you for your biting wit and intelligent insight at Daily Kos. You really helped make our country a better place for all our children.  May you keep smiling upon us — and writing! — from heaven. Love, Markos, Elisa and all the Kossacks out there

Should I add anything else? Also, feel free to send your own wishes to any of these addresses:

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
825 Eastlake Ave E , PO Box 19023
Seattle WA 98109-1023

St. Hilda-St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church
15224 52nd Ave W
Edmonds, WA. 98026-4304


RIP Janet Carol Lane Eaton “aka Janetle” 1953-2009

I was very sad to wake up this morning and learn that long-time fellow MTer Janetle has passed away. She leaves her dear husband Dave as well as two children who are in their 20s.

Here is a beautiful obituary on her website Mukilteo Musings:

Janet Lane Eaton, J.D., passed away peacefully on March 15, after a short but courageous battle with colon cancer, at the age of only 56. Janet was born to Virginia and David Lane in Deer Lodge, MT on January 8, 1953. She grew up in Helena, MT, where she met the love of her life, David Eaton, at the tender age of 16. Dave and Janet attended Montana State University, where Janet graduated in 1974 with a degree in Secondary Education and minor in French. Janet and Dave were married in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Helena, MT, in 1973. They moved to Kansas City, KS, where Janet completed her law degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Dave completed his PhD from the University of Kansas Medical Center. They moved to Seattle in 1979, where Janet joined the law firm of Schroeter, Goldmark and Bender as one of the first women attorneys in the firm, and Dave joined the Faculty of the University of Washington. After six years of practicing trial law, Janet gave birth to Lucas, and three years later, Kaley. They moved to Mukilteo, WA in 1989, where they have lived since. Janet devoted most of the rest of her life to raising her two precious children, while serving occasionally as an arbitrator in the King and Snohomish County courts. She wrote beautifully about her life in Mukilteo in her widely read blog, “Mukilteo Musings“, making many friends that she never met in person.

Because the family has asked for remembrances in lieu of flowers, I will send something on behalf of MotherTalkers as well as a donation to the cancer organization listed on her blog. What an inspiration Janet has served for all of us here at MotherTalkers. May her family find strength and solace at this time.