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Dear Reader: Happy Summer!

by Vaun Thygerson
Contributing writer and mother of three

When I was a teenager I loved James Dean – my entire room was covered in his movie posters, and I even had a life-size poster stuck on the back of my door. And this was before the internet, so I had to work really hard to amass this collection. My parents didn’t know that much about James Dean, but they knew how much I wanted to see his hometown in Fairmount, Indiana. One summer in the late-1980’s, they drove me the 1,668 miles from Idaho to Indiana so that I could see the childhood home of my teen idol. It was a trip I will never forget.

My parents always tried to support my dreams (and obsessions) and now, as a parent myself, I see that I am modeling their behavior. It’s amazing what you learn to like or what you do for your children just because you know it will make them happy. When my daughter was younger, I took her to see all her teen crushes in concert: Jonas Brothers, One Direction, Justin Bieber, and more. With my boys, I learned to like Legos, Ninjago, lacrosse, and Chargers football. I’ve even learned to appreciate some rap music (which I honestly swore I would never like) because my youngest son loves that kind of music. I even took him and his brother to a Logic concert. Like I said, it’s crazy what we do to see a genuine smile on their faces, but so worth it.

Not only do we end up doing things we say we’ll never do for our kids, but we give in to our pets, too! In Julie Willis’s Humor at Home article, “2 Dogs + 2 Kids = O Rules: How Having Kids Was a Game-Changer for Our Dogs,” on page 22, she writes about how her rules with the dogs changed once kids came into the picture. She used to not let them get up on furniture or beg for food, but now they like to lick up the kids’ spills and sleep on their beds to “protect” them. This cliché is a cliché for a reason: easier said than done.

This month’s Hello Happy Mama article, “How to do Summer Like a Boss,” written by Janelle Capra, gives three tips on how to make the most of your break from school. She writes that the best things to do this summer are to make memories and to be present. She also recommends making “play” dates with your friends for a nice break. To find out her tips to rule summer, turn to page 19.

In addition to the first full month of summer break, June is also the month when we get to celebrate the father figures in our lives. I lucked out to have a dad who really deserves to be honored on June 16th. After all, him driving me half-way across the United States just to pay homage to my teen idol is just one of a million things he has done for me and my five sisters. In fact, I love Linda Poindexter’s quote, “When my father didn’t have my hand, he had my back.”

This summer, take the break from school to be present and to enjoy the carefree days without car pools and homework, because August will be here before you know it. Take the time to relax and spend these amazing summer days at the pool or at the beach and don’t forget to put on your sunscreen!

Happy Summer!

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