Parenting with Passion | Two Decades of Kids and Counting | Sally Torbey | Palo Alto Online |

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By Sally Torbey

Parenting with Passion

Uploaded: Oct 8, 2013

My husband and I have been parenting in Palo Alto for over two decades. We have children in the public elementary, middle and high school, as well as a daughter in college and a son who is a recent college graduate. Our empty nester friends are surprised to remember we are still chaperoning field trips, carpooling and watching AYSO soccer. When I am at the elementary school, the other parents mistake me for the grandma because many parents are closer in age to my older offspring than they are to me, and I wear sensible shoes. For the most part, I relish the opportunity to parent a fourth and fifth time, even at my advanced age. There is a lot less anxiety, more appreciation for how fleeting this time is, and we now know for absolutely certain that we will miss them when they leave. Besides, kids are very helpful as technology tutors, although keeping track of what they are doing on their own online is getting more challenging. I only wish they were as innovative and helpful with laundry and dishes!

Being a parent for so long in this community gives me some historical perspective, and with still many years to go, has led me to have strong opinions about anything to do with our public schools or kids. My kids, who often witness my passionate rants, tell me in a slightly condescending tone that blogging will be a good outlet for me.

I hope blogging will be another way to form a parent community for sharing concerns, survival strategies, and funny stories about ourselves and our families. I am indebted to the friends I've made through schools, sports, scouts, church, playgroups and bookclubs. I appreciate all the friends who have listened, laughed, given advice and encouragement, made a meal for my family, driven my kids, and joined me in an early morning dish walk. Parenting can be isolating, but connecting with others and benefitting from their support can make all the difference.