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Dear Reader: Happy Autumn!


by Vaun Thygerson
Contributing writer and mother of three

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Recently, I was watching an interview with one of my favorite actresses, Reese Witherspoon, and when asked if she ever embarrassed her kids, she said, “If you’re not embarrassing your kids, you’re not spending enough time with them.”  I love this, because I know I embarrass my children, especially my teenage boys, regularly.  So, at least I know I’m around enough to make this happen.

My older son started his first job at the new gourmet cookie shop, Crumbl, which just opened last month.  I have embarrassed him a few times since he started.  On the friends and family “soft opening” day, I brought all the neighborhood boys to come and see him at work, but he was nowhere in sight.  Come to find out he was in the back of the store washing dishes.  I have a feeling he might have volunteered to be in back as to avoid our friendly teasing.

Again, on opening day, we went in to the store to find him working the cash register, and he was so cute!  I couldn’t help but tell him how professional he looked and had to snap some pictures, which I’m sure he loved – not.  I even had to tell him I loved him when I left.  I couldn’t stop myself.  And, just as his first job is his rite of passage, me taking pictures of him at his new job is mine.  (Insert his eye roll here).  

Just as embarrassing your children is part of your job, keeping them safe when you can’t be with them is another one.  In the article, “Don’t Think Finding a Sitter is Exactly Like Dating?  Think Again,” by Pam Moore, on page 14, she writes about how overwhelming it can be to find the right childcare for your kids.  She likens finding a match to dating where the types of sitters you meet are just like the kinds of people you date, such as The Heartbreaker, The Older Woman, or The One You Hope Looked Like Her Picture, until you find the THE ONE!   

Now that summer is over and we’re back into our new normal of fall schedules with social distance learning and wearing masks, the change in seasons brings new adventures awaiting to happen.  In the article by Callie Collins, “11 Ways to Make Autumn Memorable this Year,” she writes about things from bringing nature indoors to making s’mores to taking a Labor Day staycation.  To see all 11 tips, turn to page 16.  You can also find out more about what our readers are looking forward to this fall in the article, “All About Autumn:  Answers From Our Readers,” on page 15.

As your kiddos learn from home using technology such as Zoom and Google Classroom, Janelle Capra wants to ask you a question in her article, “Does Your School House Rock?”  She stresses that distance learning is like the educational show “Schoolhouse Rock” where it helps children learn concepts in new ways outside of the classroom.  In her article, on page 8, she interviews educational leaders to discuss this unique landscape.  One of the leaders, Cara Nicoletti, a fourth-grade teacher, wrote a book to share with her students, “Once Upon a Time There Was Covid 19:  A Teacher’s Story About the Pandemic of 2020.”  She also interviews Michelle Ollinger, an elementary school principal, and Cecilia Racicot, A-D & Foster Liaison, High School Counselor.  They all share the same sentiment – this might be a different learning experience, but it can still be a fun and productive semester.

As the air cools down and we start dreaming about the sweaters and jeans gathering dust in our closets, it’s time to enjoy the slower pace, light a candle (is it too early for pumpkin spice?), and, even though most of our children aren’t going to school, it’s still in our design to find unique ways to embarrass them.  Just as Reese says, “It’s our job as parents to really, like really, ramp up the embarrassment.”  

HappyAutumn!


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Tags: Parenting


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