Publisher’s Note: Sept. 2011
Summer is ending and I’m riding back to Seattle on a ferry after dropping my daughter Lily at her last week of camp as a counselor-in-training. I left off a 16-year-old, but when she comes home in five days, her birthday will have passed and she’ll be 17. On our drive we tried valiantly to stay on camp talk but the stresses of senior year -- the college application game and her pending transition into the “real world” – seeped into the car, like wisps of smoke hinting of a fire ahead.
She’s a sweet, wise kid who embraces life with a generous optimism. I’m sending a birthday cake stuck with gummy bears to her at camp, but I wish I could get a miniature Fred Rogers to jump out of the cake when she opens the box, singing a hip version of “There’s Only One You and You’re Just Right, Just the Way You Are.” Not much chance of that happening – but wouldn’t we all love to give our kids a hefty dose of some magic vitamin guaranteed to fortify and strengthen their self-esteem as they head off to a new school year?
The toddler enchanted by the puppet on our cover this month is my grandchild Anya. Just last night her mom called to report that for the first time Anya had dared to let go of her dad’s hands and take the few steps required to reach the security of her mom’s hands. She’s a long way from thinking about colleges, but believe me, she’ll be stretching out those steps and heading into the big world in a blink.
We do what we can to stoke up our kids with the skills needed to craft a healthy and happy life. I for one am a big believer in family dinner time, so after a summer off in the kitchen I’m hauling out my cookbooks and making my long grocery lists again. Inspired by this month’s article about meal planning by Rebekah Denn, I might try a few new recipes, but one thing the family can count on is our spaghetti dinner on the first night of school -- not a magic vitamin but a familiar and welcome family tradition that I swear fortifies and strengthens.
Best of luck with your school year start.