In late April, a dream I’ve harbored since I was 11 years old came to fruition: I published a book. “How did you finish a book during a pandemic?” a friend asked. “Are you trying to make the rest of us look bad?”
She was half-joking, but I wanted so badly to put my arms around her and assure her: “Please do not beat yourself up. I am not special.” I approached the deadline for this project in the same manner that I approached each month’s deadline for the magazine and each deadline for my son’s potential schools: with blinders on and fierce determination. Meanwhile, other worthwhile aspects of life took a backseat (What’s my husband’s name again?). Each time I want to beat myself up about where I’ve fallen short, however, I remember that’s a heavy burden so many mothers still carry. It’s time to set that bag down.
Instead, I’d like to echo some of the advice I’ve heard over the years that has helped me: It’s easier to embrace the word “rhythm” rather than “balance” because balance is unattainable. We will never be able to do all the things great all the time. And as moms, it’s critical that we carve out space and time for our passions (even if it means rising at 4:30 every morning). On that note, in this issue’s “Mom Escapes” article, we explore a few places for moms to take a “sabbatical” to rest, reflect, indulge in beauty and maybe even do a little creating of their own. Who were you before you were a mom? She’s still in there.
Another group we were delighted to honor in this issue are our teachers. Thanks to poet and dad Mike Sonksen (a teacher himself) for penning this piece with love and respect.
Other great stories in this issue include travel tips and ideas for this summer, fitness expert Claudine Cooper’s column on how fitness helped her — and her community — pull through the pandemic, Tonilyn Hornung’s article on how summer camps are handling transportation this year, Lolis Eric Elie’s barbecue recipes from a book he co-wrote with barbecue master Rodney Scott, author and dad Marc Fienberg’s dad advice, tips on using humor in parenting, a book and movement on how to destigmatize miscarriage and much more.
We’re so happy to be back in print, but love how we’ve been able to grow the L.A. Parent reach through extended digital outreach over this last year. And now, you’ll be able to tune into us through your earbuds! Join us as we launch the L.A. Parent podcast, “Real Parent, Real Conversations.” We’re chatting up all things parenting with experts, community leaders, artists and celebrities. Our podcast host is Jorge Martin, born and raised in L.A. and the proud father of three daughters.
So many businesses were forced to shutter their doors in this pandemic. Some might ask: “How has L.A. Parent sustained itself — and even expanded in some areas —during a pandemic?” My snap answer would be similar to the one I gave above: through sheer nose-to-grindstone determination. But while such an approach might result in survival, there was something else going on here. When I think back to my publishers’ and colleagues’ discussions, here is what I witnessed in the midst of the unthinkable: the dare to dream and look for light no matter what.
Thank you for being with us on this journey!
All my best,