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Since kindergarten, I have recited the poem: April showers bring May flowers. And, I've thoroughly enjoyed the colorful flowers April brings. I have even been known to stop and smell a rose or two. In fact, my very first job was working as an assistant at a floral shop in Shelley, Idaho. I loved that job!

Recently, I was in a country gift shop and saw a plaque that read, "Friends are flowers in the garden of life." I thought this saying was fantastic! In my life, my friends and family truly are my flowers. I started thinking about the different kinds of flowers I find in my friends.

In my garden of friends, I have a beautiful and colorful assortment of flowers: Gladioluses, friends with much character; Daffodils, chivalrous friends; Heather, friends I admire; Asters, friends who have a lot more patience than I do; Birds of Paradise, friends who bring me joy; Statice, friends who may be gone, but I remember every day; Hyacinths, my "go-to" friends who are always there for me; and many more varieties. I feel fortunate to have such a diverse and healthy garden, and I hope I pay enough attention to it to keep my flowers in full bloom!

One of the most beautiful flowers in our gardens is our mothers. My mom was a Hydrangea, extremely heartfelt. This month, we celebrate these steadfast women who gave us life. And, hopefully, we have some little ones who take the time to appreciate our role as mothers. In fact, in this issue, we delight in the littlest ones of all: Babies! Check out our special section on page 10 dedicated to all babies - cute, cuddly, and chubby. In this special section, you can find articles on your baby's language development, the importance of well-baby check ups with your doctor, how to handle airplane travel with a little one in tow, and much more.

In Tracie Grimes's Humor at Home article, "The Gift that Keeps on Giving," on page 24, she says to forget the flowers and trinkets on Mother's Day and get her the perfect gift: a privacy screen for her car that separates the "mom" driver from the rest of her passenger load. She says moms spend upwards of 85 percent playing "taxi," so this screen could really come in handy. It might even prove to be a safety feature!

As parents, it's our job to protect our children in every aspect. Rick Epstein's article, "Bursting Their Bubbles: How Much Bad News Can Kids Handle?" on page 24, discusses trying to keep his children innocent from the harsh realities of life. He wants them to believe that the world is a happy place to grow up and not give them too much bad news about it. I agree with him. "Dreamland" would be a wonderful place to visit!

In the Mothers, Shakers, and Community Makers article on page 7, I had the chance to interview Zane Smith, the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County, and learn how his lifelong commitment to this organization has helped thousands of children. He and his wife Amy, the Program Officer for the Kern Community Foundation, truly make a difference in our community.

While flipping through the pages of this month's issue, you might notice that Dave Hook's "DayTrippin' article is missing. There is a good reason for this. Dave and his wife, Andrea, have begun a new adventure. They welcomed healthy, baby boy twins on April 4th. Congratulations!

With new babies and new flowers, May looks to be a month full of promise and joy. Take stock in your own personal gardens, and I'm sure you will be happy to find a lot of different varieties. The diversity of friendships makes life so much richer.

Happy Mother's Day!

PS Thank you to all of you who made our KCFM Summer Camp and Adventure Fair a success! We had a wonderful turn out of both camp-related vendors and participants. A good time was had by all!

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