June 15 is Father's Day. Every year, we celebrate it by publishing the Kids VT Dad Issue.
Of course, not every family has a dad; mine doesn't. My son and daughter have two moms.
For us, Father's Day is a chance to give thanks for the men in our lives. Our kids' male role models include uncles, grandfathers, family friends, teachers, coaches and neighbors. All of them demonstrate, in different ways, what it means to be a good man.
My partner, Ann-Elise, and I feel very fortunate to know this diverse array of dudes. It's fun to watch them bond with our kids. I love it when my dad calls Graham "little buddy," or when Uncle Jeremy plays with Ivy and her dolls.
We're not big on gender stereotypes in our family, but I'm not ashamed to admit that we appreciate it when our guy friends bring their tools over to help us with particularly tricky home-improvement projects. When Ann-Elise's dad offered to buy some baseball equipment so he could help the kids practice batting, we were thrilled.
We also routinely rely on the dads we know to help us at cookouts — in our own backyard! Actually, I'm a little embarrassed about that. I'm not sure why the grill confounds me so.
This issue is dedicated to those guys — the ones who engage with their kids and families, and the ones who want to get more involved.
This month, Ken Picard profiled the VT Dads program, which teaches men to be better dads ("Father Time," page 18), and he talked with psychologist Mary Ann Donnelly-DeBay about the impact of an involved dad on children's mental health ("Ask the Doctor," page 10). Spoiler alert: Being present and active in your kids' lives is good for them, and it's good for you.
In "Go Ask Dad," a posse of local pops describes favorite summertime activities to do with kids (page 16), and in "Mealtime" (page 15), chef-dad Max Holzman offers one of his go-to grilling recipes. Erik Esckilsen explains why he's teaching his twin girls to make things with their own hands in "Use Your Words" (page 47).
We hope these guys and their stories inspire you to hop in your car, climb on your bike or hit the trails with the kids in your life. Summer is the perfect time for family adventures.
Drop us a line and tell us how you like to spend your summer days. We love hearing from you.
— Cathy Resmer, Executive Editor