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Dear Reader: Happy Fourth of July!

by Vaun Thygerson
Contributing writer and mother of three

When my oldest son was in preschool and learning to spell, he would write his letters on anything he could find. One time he used a fork to scratch our dog Max’s name on the kitchen silverware drawer. Another time he took a permanent marker and wrote “HI” and “NO” all over the wood of our backyard swing set. So, during this “creative” phase my husband and I went out on a date, and our cute babysitter, Ashley, came for a few hours. Nothing seemed amiss while we were gone. The next day, there on the door to my sons’ Jack and Jill bathroom, written in black Sharpie marker, were the words “STOP,” “HI,” and “NO.” When I asked him why he wrote on the door, he said in his most innocent voice, without skipping a beat, “Wasn’t me. It was Ashley!” He didn’t fool me for a second. Even though he wouldn’t admit he was the culprit, I knew it was him.

I was getting ready to paint the door to hide these words when he got so excited to show me he had “fixed” the door. He had taken some of his Lego stickers and covered the words to block them out, and you know what, it looked great. It was at that moment that our sticker door was born. A decade later, we have covered that door from top to bottom with destination and pop culture stickers we collect on our adventures. In fact, this door has become such a fun conversation piece and physical reminder of our trips! From time to time, when I see Ashley, I thank her for writing on my door. Without her alleged graffiti, we wouldn’t have this fun family tradition.

Every family has their own unique traditions and stories that they love to share and document. In this month’s Humor at Home article, Julie Willis writes in her article, “Ode to Sleep: A Love Letter to My Children,” a history of her children’s sleep patterns, or more accurately, their no-sleep patterns. She explains when that they actually did sleep, she would take pictures of them. To read all about it, turn to page 22.

Families not only have traditions, they also share love that comes in all shapes and sizes. Local author, Heath Kelsey, recently wrote a book called Duke and the Dinosaur Family to help ease fears and raise funds for children in the foster care system. The book is about a little cave boy named Duke who loses his family and is raised by dinosaurs. To read about his passion and learn about his foster family, turn to the article, “Local Author Helps Raise Money for Foster Care System,” on page 10.

Another article this month shares the success of local children at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County in “Ford Junior Youth of the Year Awarded at Emerson Middle School." Esmeralda M., an 8th grade student at Emerson Middle School, was recently awarded the Ford Junior Youth of the Year. To read all about her achievements in school, church, and home, turn to page 16.

In July, as you enjoy all the patriotic celebrations and fireworks, you never know when one of these events or activities will become a tradition you’ll share with the people you love for years to come. You could even get red, white, and blue souvenirs to add to your collections. But, no matter what you plan for America’s birthday, have fun and stay safe! Happy 4th of July!

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Tags: Food & Home, Parenting

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