Goodbye and Thank You

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Photo © Dylan Burns
Odile Fredericks

Dear Carolina Parents:

For the past nine years, you’ve inspired me to write. You have taken me to new places — virtual and real — and helped me to meet people who are exceptional on a daily basis. After I have written about each one, I feel more hopeful about the world, just because they are in it. They have been as young as the teen who found a way to rescue a street dog she met in Chile and bring him to North Carolina. Others have been working full-time while feeling compelled to help those less fortunate, like the Garner elementary school teacher who worked to make sure Triangle-area children who have been neglected or abused had at least two comforting things to take to bed with them: a new pair of pajamas and a new book.

I remember the stay-at-home mother who never gave up on finding help for her son with special needs. He was eventually diagnosed with autism, sensory integration disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Despite her busy days, she found the time to share her story with me so that other parents could also find help for their children and realize that parenting special needs’ children does not need to be a lonely place.

I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming aboard bloggers who defy stereotypes, like this dad who chooses to stay at home and parent his son and who showed me how they have fun together, even on rainy days. I am moved every time I read this DADSquared blog by a father who shares, with brutal honesty, the challenges of parenting a foster child entering his ninth foster home. He helps me understand the commitment he and his husband felt to care for their young child when he writes: “We found new ways to carry one another over this shaky, yet faith-built bridge.” 

Mothers who opt to take on working full-time, starting new businesses and parenting their children, are also my ideas of unsung superheroes, and I’ve had the privilege of meeting and bringing their stories to light in Triangle Women Create Their Own Work-Life Balance.

Each month, as I’ve uploaded copy from the print magazine to carolinaparent.com, I’ve learned more about parenting at every age, from fostering children’s mental, physical and spiritual growth to the latest trends in apps and toys, and online resources. Each week, I’ve enjoyed writing my blog post of weekend family fun activities in the Triangle, urging folks to enjoy them while actually quietly bemoaning the fact that I could not get out to them because I needed to clean my house!

Now I am happy to report that I am moving on to a new challenge at GoTriangle, which is on a mission to make light rail and bus transportation flow throughout all parts of Durham, Orange and Wake counties, providing affordable, sustainable and easy access for all residents.

This is my final post for Carolina Parent, but I’m happy to know that I am leaving my Carolina Parent job in the hands of Myra Wright, editor of piedmontparent.com, our sister website. Myra is a talented writer and editor with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working for many years. I look forward to reading her posts and learning more about you through them.

 

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