Family Room August 20 2012

BonBon Break


A few years ago, my siblings and I sent our parents on vacation to a relaxing resort on the South Carolina coast, a foodie paradise. We booked the trip for early spring, before the hot, sticky humidity dampened everything. For my parents, who love dining out and visiting historic places like old southern plantations but aren’t so keen on swimming pools and water slides, this should have been the perfect trip.

Then, the unthinkable happened.

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About Karen: Karen and her family have learned the art of enjoying the travel experience. She shares humorous anecdotes from her own experiences and uses them to equip the reader to travel better. Her blogoffers: Step-by-step “how to’s” for each element of the vacation planning process, practical advice on how to evaluate options in light of your family’s needs, wish-lists, and finances, and destination-specific planning aids. You can follow Karen’s travel advice onFacebook & Twitter.

Kindergarten’s First Day ::: Baby by the Sea

Few moments have halted me in breath and in step as our firstborn daughter’s first day of public school. I was home schooled on a wooden sloop in The Bahamas for a bit and just sort of figured I’d always follow suit. As a teacher, I felt confident but something changed as I watched Betty Rose float through five fast years of having the honor of being her parents.

Nothing could have prepared me for that very first morning, something a bit like pride and love and joy circled inside me. All the while something a bit like sorrow and loneliness was there too.

It was absolutely true – all the whispers and sideways smiles from seasoned mamas who told me to cherish moments, to halt time and stay a while as early memories are made.

What I wrote after the long morning walk home from school’s drop off remains one of my favorite pieces to date, spilling onto paper in black ink fresh, raw and a bit wounded. I typed words of love, of our histories.

I read it often and more than anything else I’ve ever written. It reminds me to celebrate each day, each phase of early childhood.

I am so glad I wrote this to her; I know we’ll look back on these feelings together in decades to come.

I can’t believe we’re about to stand on the hopscotch path with our second child in a little over two weeks. Yes, time speeds on.

Five is amazing and that very first day of school is really something I tell you.

Here’s what I wanted to say to her when all I said was, “Have fun. I love you,” as the bell rang.

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About Jennifer: Jennifer Beck Furber is a poet, a playwright, a School Board member, and a mama to three blond daughters: Betty Rose, Lucy May, and Olive June. She and her lineman husband love power lines, skiing with their girls and making s’mores on their sailboat. Her poetry and essays have been widely published, but it’s the 3rd place in a Mussel Eating Contest that really makes her smile. You can read all about life on the tiny Washington State island they call home at her poetic and photography-filled blog Baby by the Sea.

You can follow Jenn on Facebook and Instagram.


When our kids were young, we taught them, step by step, to stay safe. Touch stove, get burned. Don’t look, get hit by car. We were banking on the fact that eventually all that good sense, which boils down to DON’T DO ANYTHING STUPID, would sink in. It did, of course. But then they turned teen. And now all they want is space to experiment. No try, no learn. So what’s a mom to do?

Toronto freelance writer/editor Randi Chapnik Myers and social communicator Mara Shapiro blog for momfaze, a no-holds-barred site for parents of teens and tweens. Randi, who also writes for Today’s Parent, More magazine and the Globe & Mail, is proud to be an expert carpooler, a reluctant chef, and a hockey mom at StixandPux. Mara, a Community Manager for Our Kids Media and book reviewer on Be Nice or Leave Thanks, has a hard time wiping the smile off her face while trying to perfect the art of saying No to her three teenagers.

Follow them at and on Twitter @momfaze as they stalk their kids online and live to write about it.


Having three preschoolers means you get to see your pediatrician, a lot. When two of them were preemies and seem to have a nitch for catching every virus which is within a 50 foot radius, and are asthmatic, you get to visit even more. And when you have no family within 500 miles and your husband works 45 minutes away you get to take all three to the doctor, even if only one is sick.

It’s fun’s how it goes.

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About Jennifer: Jennifer is a mother of three preschoolers, twin boys and a daughter just 19 months younger. Her life is wonderful and messy and funny and chaotic. She blogs about it at

She has been married to her husband Dave for over 10 years and is a stay at home mom who loves to read and write in her (limited) spare time. Jennifer can also be found on Facebook.