Meet the Parent: Caitlin Myers
A bit of personal history: When my husband Erick accepted a job in the economics department at Middlebury College, we flew to Vermont for a 3-day house-hunting trip. During that visit, Erick’s future colleagues threw us a dinner party. That’s where I first met Adam and Caitlin Myers and their two precious boys. They were so warm, welcoming, genuine, and fun; as we drove away, I turned to Erick and said, “I want to be friends with them!”
Three years later, my wish has been partly granted; I’m thrilled to call Caitlin Myers a friend.
Unfortunately, two months after we moved to Vermont – during which he did a great deal to welcome us to the community – Adam Myers was killed in a car accident during a family vacation. Our family mourned his loss and what it meant for Caitlin and the boys — and then we watched in wonder as the community rallied around them. A lasting reflection of that is the Adam Myers Memorial Fundraiser and Mini-Muster, which will be held on July 26th this year.
So, MiniBury, meet my friend Caitlin Myers, who shares her views on the Green Lantern (good), Twilight (bad), and the proper spelling of Creemee (undecided). And please read to the end to learn about how to participate in the Adam Myers Memorial Fundraiser!
WHO ARE THE MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY?
I have two sons. Finn (short for Finnegan rather than Finley, Finlay, Finnian, Phineus, or Finbar — I think there is at least one of each at Mary Hogan) is a lanky blond seven-year-old who just finished up first grade at Mary Hogan. Cullen (not named after the vampire family in Twilight which, for the record, I thought would never become popular given that the books are so, well, bad) is an only slightly less lanky and blond five-year-old with a delightful “mischief face.” (What he calls “the smirk,” which is a dead giveaway that he’s up to something.) He wrapped up preschool at Quarry Hill this spring and will be starting kindergarten at Mary Hogan in the fall. I’m looking forward to mornings in which they both go in the same direction at the same time!
WHAT’S YOUR NON-PARENT ALTER-EGO?
I’m an economics professor at Middlebury College. I teach courses on empirical methods (statistics, regression, more advanced research design stuff) and urban economics. My research broadly ties in to themes of race, gender and the economy. Currently, I’m working on a paper estimating the role of testosterone on labor market outcomes.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH CHILDREN?
We love hanging out at Fort Crown Point. It’s just on the other side of the Crown Point Bridge, free to enter, and a great spot for kids to run around. There are cool ruins, a little beach, and you can walk over the bridge to get Creamies at the Bridge Restaurant. (Side note: I wish we could decide on an accepted spelling of “Creamie/ Creamy/Creemie/Creemee.” It seems like every stand has its own ideas about that. No offense to Bristol, but I think “Creeme” is clearly wrong, even if does taste right.)
FAVORITE ICE CREAM/CREEMEE FLAVOR?
Ah, I now see MiniBury’s preferred spelling of the word!
I am a purist—plain old vanilla, no sprinkles. I do like to add root beer, though.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT RAISING CHILDREN IN VERMONT?
Well, I do miss the racial and ethnic diversity of my last two homes (Austin and New Orleans), and I sometimes (usually in winter) rue the lack of indoor city amenities like big museums. But, on the whole I think this is a wonderful place to raise kids. The schools and rec programs are wonderful! (And so are our little museums!)
WHAT BOOKS DOES YOUR FAMILY ENJOY READING TOGETHER THESE DAYS?
My boys are very into comic books at the moment. We’ve been reading Book 7 of “Bone,” an epic fantasy comic series, and an old Avengers series lately. This is quite the education for me since I was more the “Little House” type than comic reader as a kid. I’m rapidly making up for it, though, and can now tell you all about the origins of the Green Lantern as well as identify lesser-known characters like Ant-Man and Dr. Strange.
HOW DID YOU END UP IN VERMONT?
I’m a native southerner—I lived for roughly equal periods of time in Louisiana, West Virginia, Georgia and Texas before moving to from Austin to Middlebury in 2005. Though I’d never lived north of the Mason Dixon, I had had romantic visions of living in Vermont going back to high school. When I received a job offer at the college, I talked my husband, a native Texan who had never been to New England, into moving here on the basis of my single short trip here to interview at the college. It turns out that I never had to disabuse myself of my notions about Vermont life—we both fell in love with Middlebury.
That sentiment was put to the test in 2011, when our family suffered the horrible shock of losing my husband in a car accident. I suddenly found myself a grieving single mother with two preschool-aged children and no family nearby. In the months that followed, many people would gently hint around or flat-out ask if I was thinking about moving south to be closer to family. To be honest, the thought hadn’t even occurred to me. Middlebury had become home, and in those dark months I was buoyed by kindness and support from our friends, neighbors and co-workers. (Those categories aren’t mutually exclusive, of course!) If it takes a village, then this is surely the one that I want to raise my children in.
WHERE WOULD WE BE MOST LIKELY TO FIND YOU AT 10 AM ON A SATURDAY?
Finishing my Saturday morning cleaning and rounding up kids for the Middlebury farmer’s market. Unless we’re talking about Saturday, July 26th. In that case, please see below.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON JULY 26TH?
We’ll be at the third annual Adam Myers Memorial Fundraiser for the Middlebury Fire Department celebrating the life of my late husband. Adam was a dedicated and enthusiastic father, firefighter, and just an all-around-lover of people, and the day is a wonderful tribute to his memory. From 10-12 that morning there will be a “Mini-Muster” at the town rec park. The firefighters will be there with trucks, games, and snacks, plus some super-cute kid-sized versions of MFD t-shirts for sale. That evening, we’ll gather at Two Brothers lounge at 7:30 for music and a raffle. Finn, Cullen and I are so grateful for the opportunity to remember Adam in this way. We’d love to see lots of folks there!