“When We Knew We’d Be OK”

Parents discuss coming to terms with their child’s diagnosis


Published:

The Comer Family of Apex

For most parents, the moment when a child is diagnosed with a serious condition or disability probably feels like the end of something — of family life as they know it, of their dreams for the future, of their sense of security in a world that, up to that very moment, was beckoning to them with its promises.

And yet, in a show of resiliency that can seem astonishing to outsiders, many families find their way back from that place of fear and anguish to reclaim a sense of normalcy, finding satisfaction in daily victories, both great and small, or community among others who walk a similar path. They embrace a new purpose. They cherish unexpected milestones. They find reasons to rekindle hope.    

We asked three such Triangle parents to share with us how they made that journey. Here are their stories.

 

Finding a New Normal

“The human connection was so important.”

Gwen Comer, Apex

My husband, Scott, and I have a blended family, including three college-age children, Slade, Alexis and Sloane; Mackenzie, who is 4½; and Libby, who is 2. When Mackenzie was 22 months old, she was diagnosed with Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder that is first recognized in infancy and seen almost always in girls.

Until she was 12 months old, Mackenzie developed normally, had a handful of words and was meeting typical milestones. We became concerned by her sudden loss of speech and inability to walk independently at 16 months. We visited a developmental nurse and subsequently saw our first physical therapist for evaluation. The PT said Mackenzie had hypotonia, or low muscle tone, which she described as a neurological issue. I nearly panicked at that very moment. I requested a visit with a pediatric neurologist, who ordered some diagnostic testing. Then came the diagnosis. We could not have been less prepared for the shocking news that day. 

Rett syndrome (named after Andreas Rett, the doctor who discovered it) is caused by mutations on the X chromosome. It causes problems in brain functions that can include learning, speech, sensations, mood, movement, breathing, cardiac function and even chewing, swallowing and digestion. Symptoms appear after a period of normal or near-normal development until 6-18 months, when there is a stagnation of skills, including communication and purposeful hand use. Other problems may include seizures and disorganized breathing patterns. There currently is no cure for Rett syndrome.

For the first month post-diagnosis, I was numb. Getting my arms around this information was overwhelming and confusing. I was four months pregnant and terrified not only for Mackenzie but also for our unborn child. Over the next few months I found myself reading until I fell asleep every night, trying to soak up any information I could find, to understand what this meant today and what it would mean for us going forward. I wanted desperately to connect with other families, just to know what life was like on this “other side” that we never expected to be a part of.

I will never forget the first Rett parent I talked to. He said, “It will be OK. You will find a new normal.”

The words “It will be OK” will resonate with me forever. This was my first realization that the human connection was going to be so important to me. I could read scientific articles for nights on end, but the actual contact with another family, another parent and another life unexpected — that was going to be an important coping mechanism for me and my family. So the quest began, to reach as many Rett families in the area as possible. To learn from them, share with them, connect with them, feel with them. To ask, how do we find our new normal? And with every new family connection, despite their daughter’s severity of symptoms, mutation or current family challenges, I began to feel that it would be OK.

We are grateful to have a lot of support, including our medical team, volunteers, family and friends, to ensure Mackenzie is as “typical” a 4-year-old as possible and that her future is a bright one. While we worry about Mackenzie’s future and the future of all girls affected by Rett syndrome, we focus our energy on how we can effect change by fundraising and raising awareness of Rett syndrome, by living our “new normal,” and by doing what most parents do: pave the way for the best possible future for their children.    

 

Accepting a Different Pace

“This is not a sprint — it’s a marathon.”

Kimberly Burrows, Holly Springs

After close to three years trying to get pregnant, my husband, Dave, and I were so happy when we found out we were expecting our son, Zach. He was born in 2002 and, despite being four weeks early, was a perfectly healthy child.

Zach was always very active, but by age 5 his activity level had intensified. He started kindergarten, where behavior and focus problems soon followed. We had a new baby at home, and initially we thought that this may have impacted him. However, he was finally diagnosed as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Over the next six years, we received additional diagnoses including autism, Tourette’s syndrome, anxiety, sleep issues and a possible seizure disorder. Our lives quickly became multiple monthly visits with doctors and specialists, calls from school and meltdowns at home. As hard as it was for us as parents to cope, it was even harder to see our child in pain. Zach had very few friends and was struggling to fit in.

Zach Burrows of Holly Springs

There were so many times we wondered, “Why is this happening?” or “How can we get through this?” Our saving grace was a wonderful therapist who reminded us that there was hope. He would often tell us, “This is not a sprint — it’s a marathon.” He helped us find the right doctors and therapies.

The other person who helped us through this was Zach. Despite his disabilities, he is such a caring, loving child that he inspired us to keep going.

In November 2013, we moved to North Carolina. We hoped the move would be a fresh start for our family and that we would have better access to healthcare. We were pleased when Zach adjusted well at his new school and started making friends.

Then, in May 2014, Zach was dealt another blow. What started as a stomach bug turned into a five-day stay at Duke Children’s Hospital. He recovered, but a week later the symptoms were back. He was readmitted and diagnosed with a rare metabolic condition, glutaric acidemia, which inhibits his body’s ability to process fat and protein. At the time he was admitted, Zach was in metabolic crisis. Fortunately, he recovered, but it has meant drastically changing his diet. Imagine telling a 12-year-old he can no longer eat meat, have pizza with friends or go out to eat with his family. His diet now consists of 12 servings of fruit and fewer than 50 grams of fat and protein per day. He can’t run or exercise for long periods of time because he doesn’t have energy reserves like other people.

My husband and I dealt with this diagnosis differently. Dave is a scientist, so he dove into the research, determined to read everything about this disorder so it could be treated better. I had a more emotional reaction: I got mad. For a week, I was upset with the world, angry that Zach had to face another challenge. However, my “mad” got me through and allowed me to move to the next stage, which was acceptance.

But Zach’s diagnosis also came as a relief. It helped explain why Zach had had so many problems with medication for his other disorders. We finally had the answers we had sought for so many years, and we saw there was a plan for the future. That is not to say it is easy, but it is better. He still struggles and there are times when his new diet frustrates him, but we are so proud of him. Zach has overcome so much, and he refuses to let his disabilities define him. He is truly remarkable!

 

Readjusting Expectations

“The thing about Tucker…”

Bill Baragona, Cary

We were at the doctor’s office halfway through my wife’s second pregnancy when the doctor told us there was a 50/50 chance of a major problem. That’s when it all started. It was 2001, and life was never the same.

In our case it was tuberous sclerosis, a rare genetic disorder that causes benign tumors to grow in many parts of the body.  In some cases the tumors are in harmless places and do nothing. In Tucker’s case the tumors are small knots in his brain that cause seizures and prevent typical mental development. When he was first born we had no idea how bad it would be, but the doctor told us upfront that any number of knots in the brain over eight would be a problem. Our hearts were torn out when the MRI came back with a number of 32 and counting.

For us this means we have a child who will never talk, who eats his clothes and anything else he can get in his mouth, and who can never be left unsupervised. A child whose room can only have a bed with a special box built around it so he doesn’t eat the sheets, and whose pajamas consist of a wrestling singlet safety-pinned to his shirt and shorts, because without the pins we will come in and at least one article will be gone, down the old gullet. A child whose only sign of real intellect is in his ability to beat whatever system we come up with to keep him out of that sort of trouble. At least that’s something.

Tucker Baragona

But the thing about Tucker is that he never smarts off or is disrespectful. He never underachieves, and we never get so fed up with him we want to scream. As the father of two other children who are typically developing, I know that is a normal feeling with most kids. Tucker can’t make you mad, and he never needs to be punished. He will never say he hates you, and he will never leave.

When I consider when it was that I knew we’d be OK, I can honestly say that, for me, it was not a single incident or time I can recall. It was more the growing understanding of the role expectation plays in our own happiness.

 

The other day my older son Gabe’s coach came up to Tuck, who’s now 13, and reached out to shake his hand. Now, Tucker grabs everything and everyone, so naturally he took the outstretched hand. It was his first handshake. I almost cried. He didn’t realize he was “shaking hands,” but the moment just seemed so normal. If you hold out your hand right to his face, he will lean forward and kiss it. It feels the same as when my other sons get an “A.” When we wake him up and he has not eaten his clothes, or if the baby gate is down and he didn’t get in the shower fully dressed and turn it on, it feels just like when a typical kid does his chores. It feels good. He has almost learned to hug and he knows what peanut butter is. I feel a sense of pride when he catches the pantry door open and brings me the jar. 

It’s that kind of thinking that will get you through the challenges of your child’s disability with your heart intact.

 

Karen Lewis Taylor is a freelance writer and editor and has served as project editor for Exceptional Child since its inaugural issue, Special Edition, in 2010.

 

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February 2019

The Flying Biscuit Café celebrates National Pancake Month by bringing back its Red Velvet Pancakes. The delicious red velvet pancakes, complete with hand-made cream cheese...

Cost: Dine-in purchase required

Where:
Flying Biscuit - Raleigh
2016 Clark Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27605
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Website »

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Come by the park center any time during the four days of the Great Backyard Bird Count to view a free slideshow of the birds of Yates Mill Pond. Over 150 photographs of birds are featured in the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Join park staff in collecting data for the 22nd annual Great Backyard Bird Count. We will look and listen for birds in a variety of habitats, and keep track of how many individuals of each species...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 191-946-03355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Celebrate all things cats at the Tica Time Cat Show. Watch judging, learn about the different cat breeds, interact with the breeders and exhibitors, cheer on favorite cats, shop...

Cost: $5.00 adults; discounts for children and families

Where:
NC State Fairgrounds: Holshouser Building
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Telephone: 9194774221919-477-42
Contact Name: Ruth Willett
Website »

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Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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Take your favorite Valentine to the farm and join all the animals for some Valentines fun. Meet Peppa Pig and Annie the Donkey, and feed the horses and other animals. Take...

Cost: $13.50/person

Where:
Spring Haven Farm
5306 Homer Ruffin Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Sponsor: Spring Haven Farm
Telephone: 919-407-1806
Contact Name: Andrew
Website »

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Zuri's Paint and Read Party is a event to bring awareness to young girls who have natural hair to let them know how beautiful they are and that being natural is perfectly acceptable. Paint...

Cost: $15-$25

Where:
Abbott's Creek Community Center
9950 Durant Rd.
Raleigh , NC  27614
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Sponsor: Classy Hair Products
Website »

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Eagles are often seen around Lake Crabtree County Park. From 2003 to 2011, they even nested here! This year a new nest was discovered, and we are hoping to have an active nesting season this...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 191-946-03355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Search for salamanders, birds, deer and more. All ages with adult. Register online. Choose course #121683.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Search for salamanders, birds, deer and more. All ages with adult. Register online. Choose course #121683.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Join a park naturalist on a one-mile hike around Yates Mill Pond and help to identify and count the birds that we see along the way. Learn how to identify backyard birds by sight, sound, and other...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »

More information

Enjoy afternoon tea in a beautiful Victorian home. Refreshment and light fare will be served and consist of tea sandwiches, scones, fruit and cakes. Unplug and experience the luxury and...

Cost: $25/person

Where:
Morning Glory Inn Bed & Breakfast
507 East 2nd Street
Clayton, NC  27520
View map »


Website »

More information

Walk along the trails and ponds to discover creatures in nature as they settle down for the night. Look for owls and other birds at dusk. Take a flashlight. All ages; children...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

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The Flying Biscuit Café celebrates National Pancake Month by bringing back its Red Velvet Pancakes. The delicious red velvet pancakes, complete with hand-made cream cheese...

Cost: Dine-in purchase required

Where:
Flying Biscuit - Raleigh
2016 Clark Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27605
View map »


Website »

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Is it true that Turkey and Eagle once faced off to see who would be our national bird? Find out the answer and discover the natural characteristics that made each bird a contender. Celebrate...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »

More information

Help staff add to the Great Backyard Bird Count data by walking along the trails and shoreline to identify birds in different habitats of the park. Free for all ages. Suggested for ages 4...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Come by the park center any time during the four days of the Great Backyard Bird Count to view a free slideshow of the birds of Yates Mill Pond. Over 150 photographs of birds are featured in the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »

More information

Join park staff in collecting data for the 22nd annual Great Backyard Bird Count. We will look and listen for birds in a variety of habitats, and keep track of how many individuals of each species...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 191-946-03355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Ages 2-5 enjoy movement and mindfulness. Learn basic yoga elements through age-appropriate breath-work techniques, games, storytelling, and creative visualization.

Cost: $15 or use your package/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East St.
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Website »

More information

Family Wildlife Series: ​Counting is for the Birds! Monday, February 18 10-11 a.m. Join Blue Jay staff to hear a bird story (or two), try a fun bird activity (or three)  and count how many...

Cost: Free

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Road
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Telephone: 191-987-04330

More information

Learn some cool woodpecker facts, hear common woodpecker calls, make a suet log for your family to take home and go on a short hike to look and listen for woodpeckers around the park. Free for all...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

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Ages 5-13 enjoy a one-hour yoga class designed to strengthen and stretch the entire body, balance the nervous system, improve body awareness, encourage the development of communication and social...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East St.
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »

More information

Spend the afternoon learning all about birds and why it is important that we help conserve them. We will go on a bird behavior scavenger hunt, play the migration game, and learn how to identify...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 191-946-03355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Learn about the history of the Eastern Bluebird and how you can attract them to your yard. Hike along our bluebird trail to check the park boxes and prepare them for the coming season. Then make...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »

More information

William Peace University presents its final concert of the 2018-2019 year of the Manning Music Series in partnership with the North Carolina Symphony.  The concert features the String...

Cost: Free

Where:
William Peace University
15 East Peace St.
Kenan Hall
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us on a winter bird scavenger hunt! Search for common birds of the park and count them along the way. Practice using binoculars and learn how to identify these animals by shape and color. For...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Flying Biscuit Café celebrates National Pancake Month by bringing back its Red Velvet Pancakes. The delicious red velvet pancakes, complete with hand-made cream cheese...

Cost: Dine-in purchase required

Where:
Flying Biscuit - Raleigh
2016 Clark Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27605
View map »


Website »

More information

Is it true that Turkey and Eagle once faced off to see who would be our national bird? Find out the answer and discover the natural characteristics that made each bird a contender. Celebrate...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »

More information

Ages 2-5 enjoy movement and mindfulness. Learn basic yoga elements through age-appropriate breath-work techniques, games, storytelling, and creative visualization and more.

Cost: $15/child, use your package/membership.

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Chapel Hill
781 Mt Carmel Church Rd
chapel hill, NC  27517
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy "Planes" on a big screen. Take snacks and blankets. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Halle Cultural Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

Can you believe there are active beavers building dams and lodges inside Raleigh’s beltline?? Bring your budding naturalist to the park to learn about these awesome creatures that call our park...

Cost: $2

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson Street
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Telephone: 919-996-2760
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood

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Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department and Shaw University Men's & Women's Soccer teams offer spring soccer clinics for youth ages 5‐7 who are interested in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road (Softball Field)
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
Website »

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Celebrate Black History Month with a poetry reading featuring Ashley Harris, Fred Joiner, and members of the local youth and teen poet community. Ashley Harris is a former youth-slam competitor and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Public Library
137 W Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 191-924-52539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Flying Biscuit Café celebrates National Pancake Month by bringing back its Red Velvet Pancakes. The delicious red velvet pancakes, complete with hand-made cream cheese...

Cost: Dine-in purchase required

Where:
Flying Biscuit - Raleigh
2016 Clark Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27605
View map »


Website »

More information

Is it true that Turkey and Eagle once faced off to see who would be our national bird? Find out the answer and discover the natural characteristics that made each bird a contender. Celebrate...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »

More information

Connect with your baby, other parents and yourself during this adult-focused postpartum yoga class. Recommended for babies newborn to walking. Take a mat, a blanket for your little one, and...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East Street
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Website »

More information

Meet other families in your community in a recreation setting. The play room will be reserved for parents and their young children. Sports and recreation equipment will be available...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Flying Biscuit Café celebrates National Pancake Month by bringing back its Red Velvet Pancakes. The delicious red velvet pancakes, complete with hand-made cream cheese...

Cost: Dine-in purchase required

Where:
Flying Biscuit - Raleigh
2016 Clark Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27605
View map »


Website »

More information

This program is designed to move at a toddler’s pace: Run. Stop. Pick dandelions. Run. Climb on a rock. Find an interesting leaf! Join others for an easy-paced hike around the greenway...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson Street
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Telephone: 919-996-2760
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood

More information

Sharpen your culinary skills and learn some new ones during this cooking class for would-be chefs. Call or stop by to register 919-245-2532 to register. Space is limited.

Cost: 0

Where:
Orange County Public Library
137 W Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 191-924-52539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
Website »

More information

This after-school class for kids in grades 3-5 offers fun learning yoga poses and mindfulness techniques to reduce stress. Grades 3-5. 

Cost: $15/class, or use your class pass/membership.

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Chapel Hill
781 Mt. Carmel Church Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy the family-friendly movie and a slice or two of pizza. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $5/person, $2 for ages 2 and younger

Where:
The Halle Cultural Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn to recognize warning signs of unhealthy dating relationships and potential dating violence. In addition, participants will learn current sexting statistics and trends as well as North...

Cost: Free

Where:
Poe Center for Heath Education
224 Sunnybrook Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Website »

More information

Parents learn ways to discipline and communicate with a toddler to increase cooperation and reduce power struggles. Register online.

Cost: $22/person, $33/couple

Where:
Project Enlightenment
501 S. Boylan Ave.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Flying Biscuit Café celebrates National Pancake Month by bringing back its Red Velvet Pancakes. The delicious red velvet pancakes, complete with hand-made cream cheese...

Cost: Dine-in purchase required

Where:
Flying Biscuit - Raleigh
2016 Clark Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27605
View map »


Website »

More information

Chase away the winter blues with a hike through the JC Raulston Arboretum's Winter Garden! Meet at the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center ready for a fun time outside. From there, we will go to the...

Cost: $5.00 per child for Arboretum family members, $7.00 per child for nonmembers (no

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Road
Raleigh, NC  27606
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Telephone: 919-513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

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Put on your fanciest clothes and come to the royal ball! Don your crowns, dance the night away, and enjoy other royal activities fit for tiny kings and queens.

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Public Library
137 W Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 191-924-52539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
Website »

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Whooo’s active in the park after dark? Find out during a night hike at Crowder! Learn about owls and other birds that are active at night. Bundle up—it is cold outside!  For all ages (adult...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »

More information

Enjoy fun, games, friendship and more every Friday.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
Website »

More information

Yates Mill has served as a source of artistic inspiration for more than two centuries and continues to be the subject of numerous local works of art. Help us to celebrate the opening of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »

More information

Ages 5 and older investigate what's up in space this month. Program begins with an indoor presentation and (weather permitting) moves outside after sunset to view the moon, stars, and more with...

Cost: $3

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
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Ages 15 and older with disabilities enjoy dancing, music, games and refreshments. Take a camera for a photo in front of a winter scene background. Register online. 

Cost: $3

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Greensboro
Carrboro, NC  27510
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This class is a chance for adventurous women to get together for a fun-filled workshop where we explore the basics of aerial silks. No need for a background in aerial yoga, this is a workshop...

Cost: $25

Where:
Cary Hot Yoga
952 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Sponsor: Cary Hot Yoga
Telephone: 188-858-79530
Contact Name: hoa bui
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The Flying Biscuit Café celebrates National Pancake Month by bringing back its Red Velvet Pancakes. The delicious red velvet pancakes, complete with hand-made cream cheese...

Cost: Dine-in purchase required

Where:
Flying Biscuit - Raleigh
2016 Clark Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27605
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Enjoy a special storytime for ages 4 and older with Jonathan Voss, author of "Brave Enough for Two: A Hoot and Olive Story".

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Telephone: 919-942-7373
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The sixth annual Marbles Future Me Kids Career Fair introduces children to architects, dentists, engineers, scientists, educators, entrepreneurs and many other...

Cost: $7 ages 1 and older

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Children make treasured memories while increasing their knowledge of plants and animals. Ages 7-10. Register online. Choose course #121613.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Join us for our February Kids Event for 1st through 5th graders. This is a free event, with fun, fellowship, games and snacks.

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Bible Fellowship
9043 Chapel Hill Road
Cary, NC  27513
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Telephone: 919-468-4590
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Poets everywhere are speaking out about what they believe in. In this generative workshop, we'll examine techniques used in poems that tackle tough topics like racial inequality, immigration,...

Cost: 0

Where:
Orange County Public Library
137 W Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 191-924-52539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
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Artist Pinkie Strother is known for her three-dimensional figures that place everyday people in historical scenes, as was Ernie Barnes, whose work is on exhibit. In this hands-on workshop, see...

Cost: $20 for non-museum members

Where:
North Carolina Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Enjoy a docent-led tours through exhibits that highlight the contributions of African-Americans to North Carolina.

Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Winter days find many animals curled up in their dens. They sleep warmly, awakening in spring ready to enjoy the renewed Earth. Discover how animals prepare for cold weather and which ones...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Telephone: 919-942-7373
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Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Telephone: 919-942-7373
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Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Telephone: 919-942-7373
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Gather 'round the campfire for an evening of storytelling, nature, and marshmallows. As dusk falls, we'll come together to meet new friends, enjoy quality time, and share a tale connected...

Cost: $2/person

Where:
Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve
8305 Camp Durant Rd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2018-19 Education Guide offers 678 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools, academic resources and an Exceptional Child special section.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2018 Readers' Favorites are.