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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Baby New Year....

Bringing Up Baby New Year

Here we are again at that time when the New Year is slapped on the bottom by Dick Clark and welcomed into the world. Now that we have given birth to this precious baby New Year, what will we do with it? Most new parents are a bit nervous, some because they didn't do such a good job with the last year, and others because they don't have the slightest clue what it means to be a good and responsible parent.

First, we must consider the problem of where to put the baby New Year. Do we keep it in a crib behind bars and only bring it out when necessary for feeding or bathing? It will be safe there and maybe it will stay out of trouble, but we certainly won't have much fun with it or enjoy its development if we are scared to death of it.

On the other hand, if we hold it close and cuddle it too much, it might grow up to be a spoiled brat and go off doing things we don't approve of, like creating wars, producing hurricanes, or spending so much money that inflation and the economy get totally out of control.

And, what will we feed our new baby New Year? The innocent little New Year really doesn't know the difference and will accept whatever we offer. We can choose to give it nourishment that will eventually clog its arteries and destroy its health, or we can nurture it with a healthy lifestyle and clean environment that will protect its well-being.

New Years, like new babies, are a lot of trouble. We want to safeguard our offspring, but we also want our baby New Year to develop moral responsibility and be able to withstand the bullies and terrorists of the world. We want it to grow up and be thought of as a good year, one that will fulfill its potential and become a conscientious adult. But the possibility of a childish New Year going astray in the current world situation is frightening to any parent.

Parenting a New Year needs to come with a better set of instructions. There are many books written on how a baby should be raised, what to do, and what not to do. There are also many advisors telling us how to get the best outcome from our New Year, financially, politically, or socially. It is hard to know which advice to follow and which to ignore.

But the truth is that we will pretty much go by tradition and raise our New Year in the same way that our parents brought up their years. We will end up with a New Year that is pretty much like all other years. We will experience failures, have moments of anger, make mistakes and our New Year baby may eventually end up as less than what we had hoped for.

On the other hand, a New Year presents the opportunity to correct errors that have been made in the past. We can nurture our New Year with love and fill it with joy. We can approach it with knowledge gained from past failures and do a better job this time. We can make this New Year the one that will change the course of history and become a year that we can look back on with pride.

As Dr. Benjamin Spock, famous for his childcare advice, said, "Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." There is no one right way to raise a baby New Year. We must follow our best instincts, have patience, and model the behaviors that we want. No year is perfect, but if we do the best job that we can, our New Year will probably turn out just fine.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss


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