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Friends 'Til the End 

click to enlarge Lexy and Alison, 1982
  • Lexy and Alison, 1982

There are all kinds of love stories. Lexy and I met as toddlers while finger painting with chocolate pudding at a progressive child-parent center in Philadelphia. We quickly became enamored with each other. Luckily, our moms became good friends, too. We attended the same preschool, went on family vacations to the Jersey Shore together and spent countless hours playing grocery store in her basement. We insisted that our mothers dress us alike, and we were occasionally mistaken for twins, much to our delight.

When I was 5, my family moved to New York, but Lexy and I managed to stay in touch. We went on summer travel programs together in middle and high school, backpacked around Europe after our freshman year of college and trained for the New York City Marathon in our early twenties. We've seen each other through breakups and moves, marriage and pregnancy. Though she now lives in Brooklyn, we still manage to get our families together several times a year. And — in what feels like proof of the strong, unspoken connection we've cultivated over 38 years of friendship — when we do see each other, we're often dressed alike.

In this month's issue, we celebrate the love between friends. Erinn and Sam Simon — themselves partners in life and creative work — interviewed and photographed pals with special bonds ("Friends Forever"). From 6-year-old Leo and his "County Road Grandma" Kitty, to Harry Potter-loving middle schoolers Lili and Quinn, their stories are unique but the sentiments they express will be familiar to anyone who's ever had a true friend.

Looking for a sweet Valentine's Day treat? Check out Astrid Hedbor Lague's recipe for a decadent crêpe cake. In the mood for a relaxing — and warm — outing with your preschooler? Katie Titterton explains why the Gardener's Supply greenhouse in Williston is the place to be during the winter months in "Destination Recreation." And learn about a unique, long-running program at Champlain College that shows the love to single parents looking to earn a college degree.

I'm also happy to introduce a new contributor, Elisa Järnefelt. Every other month, the talented illustrator will be sharing a drawing about some aspect of parenthood. This month, she reflects on what her family members do for each other without having to ask.

February also marks the beginning of our camp guide, which runs through May. You'll find tons of information about local summer camps, including a planning sheet you can use to keep track of what your kids are doing each week of the summer. Don't forget to join us at our 21st annual Camp and School Fair, on Saturday, February 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Hilton Burlington. We'd love to see you there.


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