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Vaun
Vaun Thygerson Photo by son, Cade.
I grew up in a household of women – I have five sisters and no brothers. And, out of my 20 nieces and nephews, only four are boys. So, I thought having daughters was my destiny. That was okay with me, because I love all things pink and girly – Barbies, rhinestones, glitter. My plan held true, because my first child was a girl – just as expected. Then, the winds changed with my second child. When the doctor told me it was a boy, I laughed. My first inclination: "What am I going to do with a boy?" Then, baby number three came along, and guess what, another boy!

Well, seven years later – my two boys have taught me a lot about all things relating to "snips and snails and puppy dogs' tails." And, I have learned to like boy stuff – G.I. Joes, ninjas, Star Wars. In fact, my boys have turned me on to my new favorite sport: archery. Recently, my boys convinced me to try shooting a bow and arrow. After hitting my first bull's eye at the archery range, I was hooked. I understand why Geena Davis spent countless hours training for a spot on the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics US archery team. My boys have taught me so much; and, as they get older, I know I will only keep experiencing new things thanks to being their mom. Boys rock! I never knew what I was missing…

Even Tracie Grimes agrees that boys are different from girls, especially in their literary choices. In her book review, "Getting Boys to Read," on page 11, she says it's important to let boys read books that interest them - even if we think it's silly or gross. Some of her book recommendations include "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, "Maximum Ride: The Final Warning" by James Patterson, and "Survival at 40 Below" by Debbie S. Miller. And, for moms, she says "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett will pique your interest from the moment you start turning the pages.

In her Humor @ Home article, "School's IN!" on page 15, Tracie Grimes dishes out her monthly dose of laughter. She writes about her elation and relief when the kids return to their school routine, because it means less time to prompt sibling rivalry and maybe even a cleaner house. Back to school for her means less of Sponge Bob's theme song and more of her own '80s music!

Speaking of sibling rivalry… Rick Epstein's Fatherhooding article, "Twisted Sisters: Siblings in Conflict" on page 14, he writes about how upsetting it can be to watch his daughters fight. Even though sibling rivalry is a common occurrence in most families of two or more children, he continues to read books and try tactics to ease the tension. He remains hopeful of their sisterly love to come – at least in their distant future.

September ushers in a comfortable routine in which we are back to school and back to all that comes with it – homework, bedtime, carpools. So, this month, whether you're in a family of all boys, all girls, or some of each, celebrate the differences in each other. You could learn a lot!

Happy Reading!

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