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Springing Forward at Spare Time 

click to enlarge Graham at Spare Time
  • Graham at Spare Time

For my son Graham's ninth birthday last month, my partner, Ann-Elise, and I took him to Spare Time in Colchester for bowling, pizza and laser tag.

He and his friends enthusiastically hurled bowling balls toward pins. They gobbled pizza. Then they strapped on black vests wired with sensors and entered the laser-tag arena, emerging 15 minutes later, sweaty and beaming. They annihilated their opponents: another birthday boy and his party guests.

It was a lot of fun. But I couldn't help but feel a little melancholy watching Graham fire a bowling ball down the lane like a teenager. Nine years ago, this guy was a jolly little infant. Now he's almost as tall as me, and nearly as strong — he loves to demonstrate how he can lift me off the ground.

In just nine more years, this Lego-loving Pokemon collector will be an adult. Watching him grow up is bittersweet. I adore the thoughtful, kind and inquisitive young man he's becoming, but I miss that little boy.

I felt similarly wistful looking at the cute kids' clothes in this month's fashion spread ("Local Color," p. 18). As a shopper, I mostly choose function over fashion, but I loved dressing baby Graham and his sister, Ivy, in stylish outfits from our friends and family.

My favorite item was a tiny pair of Carhartt overalls. Both kids wore them for about two seconds before outgrowing them. We passed them along to friends, and numerous other tykes have worn them since.

Neither one of our kids could wear an adorable veggie onesie anymore. Still, those fashion photos are cheery, and a reminder that spring will get here, eventually. I don't feel at all sad to see the end of this cold winter.

And then, in just a few more months, it will be summer. This year, Mr. 9-year-old will spend two weeks at sleepaway camp for the first time. We're all excited for that. If you haven't signed up your kids for camp yet, check out our summer camp guide (p. 27). Many programs still have space available.

The season is shifting at Kids VT, too. Managing editor Megan James decided to cut back to part time; she's now the magazine's contributing editor. Alison Novak has stepped up to the managing editor role. All of us will continue to fill these pages with ideas and activities to make family life more fulfilling and fun.

Our kids are young for such a short time. Let's make the most of it.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Springing Forward"
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