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Publisher's Note, September 2014

From roots to wings

Published on: August 29, 2014

There are two things we should give our children: One is roots and the other is wings.

— Henry Ward Beecher

Each August, our big family is blessed to be able to convene on the shores of Lake Michigan before everyone heads back to the frenetic pace of back-to-school life. For a brief moment, time seems to stand still as we end our summer delighting in the country living of Union Pier, Mich.

Life is simple in these parts. The essential daily decision: “Beach now or beach later?” Each morning our motley crew arises, then shuffles to The Whistle for coffee or cinnamon chip muffins. We hit the beach late afternoon, chill until sunset, play ferocious team charades, and embrace the day’s grand finale with a barbecue for 20. Magnificent!

We’re accustomed to the sad September separation as the Chicago cousins head east and the Seattle Sulkins head back west. But there has been an even more dramatic change this year: Our kids seem to have all grown up. They’re getting jobs, working in places as far away as Tel Aviv, and joining cousins on the East Coast.

The not-so-long-ago baby Maya (13) towers over every one of the near dozen twentysomethings. She’s despondent at the prospect of being the only one of this assemblage to live at home this fall.

In one fell swoop, our newly married daughter and her husband, along with our recent college graduate son, will head to New York to advance their respective careers. Sadly, this reduces our ritual Friday night Shabbat dinners by 50 percent. Thankfully, they will all be together. We feel these three have what they need as they venture out to seek their fortunes. Will your kids be ready to leave home? Find out.

In our family, we’ve hopefully given our children strong roots, which provide confidence, courage and determination, along with decades in an environment of unconditional love and acceptance.

This often heard “roots and wings” quote above sounds a bit corny. But you just might find yourself relying on it one day soon to counteract your melancholy as blessed and once-battling offspring leave the family roost holding hands.

For the lucky little ones left under our tutelage, plan your fall arts frenzy (LINK)! I feel the same as our superb Out + About editor, Elisa Murray, does — wanting to book as many of these fast-selling arts tickets as possible.

Finally, in this moment at the start of another school year, take pause and consider this month’s feature, "Understanding Your Child’s Universe of Learning." It offers a practical guide to better grasping (or questioning) the academic plans and powers in your child’s school in order to better help your child learn.

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