Dr. Don Newbury

It’s time for another "Mother Hubbard" column. Like the "Mother Hubbard" dress, it covers everything but touches nothing. Or call it potential miscellany for "summer blogs"—if I knew how to "blog." Progress for me is learning how to spell it.

One column won’t cover everything, of course, but topics range from "hither ‘til yawn," with some items touched even less than lightly.

For starters, is anyone else sick and tired of reading about people who are reading about Harry Potter? When the series began, I thought the main character was a guy who greatly preferred making ceramics to getting haircuts….

When I don’t see or hear from Uncle Mort for a full two weeks, I visit the thicket to check on him. I caught up with him this week at the general store; he was button-holing shoppers to join the Tony Romo fan club. He calls it the "Thicket Chapter of Romo Rooters."

He had a tart response when I asked him if he prays for Dallas Cowboy wins.

"No way," Uncle Mort blurted. "I don’t think God cares who win games. And if He did, He could simply whisper in the ear of an NFL referee."

A career educator doubling as a full-time mom during summer months finds it difficult to refrain from correcting her pre-schooler at EVERY opportunity. A few days back, she paused at her computer keyboard to warn her daughter to "be careful."

"I’m ‘carefullin,’ Mom," the youngster responded.

The mother bit her tongue, resisting the urge to hop on the soap box to rant about her disdain for verbs fashioned from other parts of speech. Realizing it would be wasted on the youngster, she calmed down a bit, saying, "I’ve got to get back to my "Googling."

Another little girl walked with her mom and dad on the beach for the first time.

The experience opened a whole new world to the four-year-old. She was particularly fascinated by the small sea shells.

"Do these shells turn into macaroni?" she questioned….

One lad, now ready to take on first grade, hopes for a better start.

Last year, he threatened to become a kindergarten drop-out after the first week. He protested to his mother, calling school a "waste of time."

"I can’t read, I can’t write, and the teacher won’t let me talk," said he….

In a matter of days, millions of youngsters across the land will arise daily well before sunrise as practices begin for fall sports, band, drill team and cheerleading.

While athleticism is central to sports, it doesn’t end there. Cheerleading, with gymnastics at the core, arguably calls for the most athleticism of all.

With breath-taking stunts that sometimes include collisions, perilous pyramids and hard landings, cheerleaders are prime candidates for injuries….

At the collegiate level, the NCAA has introduced new mandates, including use of mats when cheerleaders perform stunts that are extremely challenging. And cheerleading coaches must take safety certification courses to qualify for catastrophic insurance coverage.

The NCAA’s catastrophic insurance program reveals that 25 percent of money expended on athletes’ claims since 1998 were filed by injured cheerleaders. This percentage is second only to football, a sport that has nine times as many participants.

For cheerleader coaches, as well as parents of the participants, there will be much prayer, breath-holding and looking the other way….

The rest of us, and there are many millions, may not be on the front lines of educational battles.

But we should care, praying for our young people and those who teach them. There’s a thoughtful admonition from an unknown author that provides wise counsel for all the folks headed back to school.

It goes like this: "If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. In happy moments, praise God; difficult moments, seek God; quiet moments, worship God; painful moments, trust God; every moment, thank God."

Dr. Newbury is a speaker and author in the Metroplex. He welcomes inquiries and comments. Send email to: newbury@speakerdoc.com Phone: 817-447-3872. His website: www.speakerdoc.com