While we adjust to life as a family of 5, a few local bloggers kindly agreed to keep MiniBury readers entertained with tales and adventures from their own lives. Today Faith Gong introduces us to a new series called “Meet the Parent.” Faith writes the bi-weekly “Faith in Vermont” column for The Addison Independent, and The Pickle Patch blog. She lives in Middlebury with her husband, their four daughters, and an over-anxious labradoodle.
Fellow parents, you know the drill: You’re at the library, or Open Gym, or sitting on the sidelines at gymnastics/dance/soccer/hockey/swimming, when you strike up a pleasant conversation with another parent. Suddenly your child – the one who ignores you completely when it’s time to put on boots or head for the door or come to dinner – is on you like a heat-seeking missile. The rest of the conversation is conducted in 30-second increments, between cries of, “I want my crackers!”, “I’m thirsty!”, and “Can we GO now?!?”
The following week, assuming you even learned the other parent’s name, you’ve almost certainly forgotten it — HEY, it’s been a whole week! Or, if you’re anything like me, you’ve forgotten the parent’s name, but somehow remembered the names of all their children (unless they have more than two children – I can’t even remember the names of more than two of my own children at a time).
All this to say: It can be hard for parents to connect with other parents, even in a small town. So, while Eliza is taking a well-deserved maternity leave from MiniBury, I’m starting a mini-series called “Meet the Parent” as a way of introducing local parents to each other.
First up: Julie Barry. I chose Julie because she’s the most recent parent I’ve met (she joined the book group I’m in), and she’s also a recent transplant to Addison County. MiniBury, meet Julie Barry!
WHO ARE THE MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY?
Julie, Ben, Killian (age 4 – at Quarry Hill), Rosie (age 2)
WHAT’S YOUR NON-PARENT ALTER-EGO?
Ben is a hydrologist; before I stayed home with the kids I taught high school English.
WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED HERE?
Seven months in Vermont!
HOW DID YOU END UP IN VERMONT?
We previously lived far (Alaska) from both sets of grandparents and wanted to relocate to be closer to family.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH CHILDREN?
We spend a lot of time outdoors and we’re looking forward to hiking and camping this spring and summer – as much as we possibly can.
WHERE WOULD WE BE MOST LIKELY TO FIND YOU AT 10 AM ON A SATURDAY?
We’ve spent so much time at Rikert and the Snowbowl this winter that next year we may just pitch a tent!
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT RAISING CHILDREN IN VERMONT?
All those layers of clothes!
WHAT BOOKS DOES YOUR FAMILY ENJOY READING TOGETHER THESE DAYS?
My kids are currently on a kick with Arnold Lobel’s wonderful Frog and Toad.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER A PARENTING “MUST-HAVE”?
Our Ergo (child carrier). We started carrying both of our kids as infants in the Ergo and now that they’re 2 and 4 it’s still in such regular use that I rarely leave home without it.
WHAT’S SOME OF THE BEST PARENTING ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
You’re the expert on your own child.
WHAT’S SOME OF THE WORST PARENTING ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
You’re the expert on your own child.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOURSELF AS A FIRST-TIME PARENT?
Write it down! Over time you will forget so many little things that seem unforgettable.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO AFTER THE KIDS ARE IN BED?
I love to read – and have fun working projects in too – sewing something for the house or a child….
THE KIDS ARE WITH A SITTER! WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE “ADULT FUN” ACTIVITIES?
Checking out local live music.
- Thanks so much to Julie for being our pilot profile! If you are interested in being profiled yourself, or would like to nominate another parent, please email me at email@example.com. Don’t be shy! (Otherwise these profiles will only feature my own friends, which would be pretty boring because I already know them.)