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parent January 2018

Your Private School Guide’s Inside!





parent January 2018

Meet the Cole boys, who just came off a winning football season. Their team won the SYFL Sacramento Division 1 Championship and ultimately secured a seat to play in Canton, OH. They received the “call to the hall” and all 25 players jumped on a red eye to Ohio and played football while it was snowing and 16 degrees out. Ultimately, they lost their first game and won their second game. These boys play with all their heart!

on our cover

Photography by: Colehearted Photography

contents JANUARY 2018






around town


FUN FINDS Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

9 11



Winter Hikes


A Winter Getaway with Kids

Lights, Camera, Action!



The Sofia



So Much Fun in 2018

STEAM-y Projects for Chilly Days

Super Mario Kart to Student Driver

Dramatic Displays

When Mental Illness Strikes

special advertising section


Annual Private School Guide

Saint John’s Program for Real Change Chosen by Sacramento Parent as Beneficiary for Babies and Bumps Sacramento Parent is proud to announce Saint John’s Program for Real Change as the beneficiary for the 10th Annual Babies and Bumps (coming to Folsom on March 10th). Read about their program to find out why we are excited to lend our support. “Saint John’s Program for Real Change unleashes the potential of mothers in crisis. We operate the largest shelter in Sacramento and the only one to focus exclusively on women and children experiencing homelessness. We serve up to 270 women and children a day, or up to 1,000 annually. When a family enters our 12-18 month comprehensive program, they receive immediate stabilization services, including housing, meals, mental health therapy, addiction counseling, as well as longer-term services including budgeting courses, high school diploma attainment, full-time childcare, and handson job training. ​All services are designed to lift themselves out of poverty and homelessness.”

​ | ​w​




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(916) 358-5276 • • (916) 358-5437 6


co-publisher | SUE LETO COLE co-publisher | SHELLY BOKMAN editor | SHANNON SMITH assistant editor | CHRISTINE QUARRY art directors | PATRICE VAN DAM

JILL LENDAHL, event coordinator | MELEYA WALKER

contributing writers: Sara Barry | Kimberly Blaker | Pam Molnar Stephen Muff | Christine Quarry Shannon Smith contributing photographers: Colehearted Photography

advertising executives: RAYCHELL SARCOMO | (530) 889.6175 LINDSAY TRENZ | (530) 889.6178 CHERYL WAPLES | (530) 889.6176


Shelly Bokman | (530) 888.0573

Happy New Year! Sacramento Parent is kicking off 2018 with some exciting updates! First, we can’t wait to share the new and improved, you are going to love it! Also, you should now be seeing the 2018 Source Book at locations around town. Be sure to grab a copy, it’s loaded with local resources and lots of tips and ideas! Oh, and then there’s our 10th Anniversary Babies and Bumps event, which is now just a few months away! We’re celebrating in Folsom this year with some fun and fresh surprises for new and expecting parents and little ones. You can probably tell, I am just a little excited about the year ahead! Now, back to this issue, I love the winter theme. It’s been cold and although hibernating in front of a warm fire together is pretty amazing...this issue has some great reasons to bundle up and head out on a family adventure! From STEAM-y projects and winter hikes to a mountain getaway, you’ll be inspired to brave the chilly weather. I also want to remind you to check out our fun finds on page 8, we’ve got a flurry of winter giveaways and some of them would be really handy to have when you’re out and about. SacParent SacramentoParent

Warmly, SacParent

Shannon & the Sac Parent Team SacParentMag

FAMILY PUBLISHING, INC. Sacramento Parent Magazine Subscription Rate: one year, $30 PO Box 598 Auburn, CA 95604 p (530) 888.0573 f (530) 888.1536 |

Sacramento Parent magazine is published monthly by Family Publishing, Inc. It is available free of charge at over 1,000 locations throughout Greater Sacramento. Sacramento Parent magazine welcomes letters, articles, artwork and photos from our readers. Sacramento Parent is not responsible for the return of unsolicited materials. All rights reserved. Any reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written permission. Opinions expressed by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily the opinions of this publication. JANUARY 2018


fun finds


Baby it’s Cold Outside! The chilly January air sure makes it easy to consider hibernating on the couch all month long with your trusted pal, Netflix! Luckily, we’ve rounded up some great finds that will surely keep you entertained, refreshed, and even moisturized this winter. Enter to win today at

FEEL NOURISHED Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream A lovely, creamy balm is super nourishing and excellent for anything from dry, sensitive, chapped skin and diaper rash to cuts and scrapes, eczema and psoriasis. Safe and effective for babies to adults. It's their best seller for a reason!

Max & Madeleine Healing Balm Soothe, heal and restore your skin to lovely softness with this ultra moisturizing Healing Balm. This deep conditioning salve features golden calendula to repair dry, cracked and inflamed skin, while vitamin rich coconut and sunflower oils nourish and heal. A blend of luxurious shea and sweet mango butters to deeply penetrate and lock in moisture so your skin stays wonderfully smooth and protected all day.

Max & Madeleine DETOX Mud Mask This Detoxifying Mud Mask will help restore your skin to its pure, beautiful glow, drawing out impurities and toxins deeply embedded in facial pores. (Something to do when it’s just too cold to get out of those jammies!)

Max & Madeleine Ultra-Nourishing Body Oil Treat your skin to an elegant, soothing blend of organic oils. This Nourishing Body Oil is gentle enough for babies, yet hydrating enough for adults. Feed and moisturize your skin a dose of nutrients perfect for all skin types, leaving it feeling silky and smooth.

BE PREPARED Kafé in the Box You’ll enjoy this new and unique coffee and tea traveler, with its square shape, clear Tritan™ window, and double walled design. Lighter than a stainless carrier, Kafé in the Box is perfect to reduce the use of Disposable coffee cups at your favorite cafe, and show your special style. It fits standard cup holders, is dishwasher safe, has a splash proof lid, and is BPA, BPS and Phthalate free.



fun finds Frost Guard You’ve probably walked out to an icy windshield with no time to wait for your defroster to do the trick. With the FrostGuard Signature windshield cover, you’ll be able to get moving quickly on those cold, frosty mornings! Break up with your scraper, your fingers will thank you for it.

GO PLAY Monster Jam (1/19-1/21) Monster Jam® Triple Threat Series™ brings adrenaline-charged family entertainment to fans across the country. These world-class Monster Jam vehicles and athletes deliver what fans want to see most! See how big these vehicles are in person as they jump, turn and are pushed to the limit on a dirt track. One lucky reader will win a family 4-pack.

Utter Nonsense Family Addition A card game where players combine silly accents with even sillier phrases to create sayings that are just plain ridiculous. The game contains 50 Accent Cards and 450 Phrase Cards (which players combine and act out). You and the family will have 500 cards chock-full of fun to keep you laughing all winter long.

Winter Hikes

Get moving, soak in your surroundings and breathe in the cool, crisp air with a winter hike. These hikes have been shared with us courtesy of the American River Conservancy. Please visit, to double check before you go, but if you’ve made a commitment to get more exercise in the New Year; a winter hike may be just right for you!

Echo Lake Snowshoe Hike Saturday, January 13, 8am-4:30pm Snowshoe from the Echo Lake Snow Park off of Highway 50 to Echo Lake and a ridge overlooking Lake Tahoe. Total distance about 4 miles. Moderately strenuous level of exertion at an elevation of about 7,500-ft. with a total climb of about 800 ft. The hike will be led by Steve Clark, an ARC board member and experienced snowshoer. Some snowshoeing experience recommended but not required. Responsible teens and adults welcome. Weather or road conditions may cancel/postpone hike. Please call for meeting location (Placerville area) and to sign up. Suggested donation: $10/members, $15/non-members.

Cronan Ranch Hikes Saturday, January 20 & February 10 8:30-11:30am Enjoy a variety of terrain, great views of the river, and the rolling prairie on this challenging 5 to 7-mile hike. This is a moderate level hike, with some challenging elevation change. Fit 10-year-olds and older are welcome. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Pilot Hill area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members.

volunteer Land Stewards, will lead this walk along the ridgeline for the length of the property with lovely views. This is an intermediate, 4-mile hike with 600-ft. elevation change. Some steep and rutted areas. Ages 12+ welcome. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Diamond Springs area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members.

Ridge Walk on ARC’s Cosumnes River property Saturday, January 27, 9-11am The Van Noord property, is an 80-acre parcel with a ridge running down the center and steep drop-offs on either side. The beautiful North Fork of the Cosumnes River crosses one corner of the property. Larry Pagendarm, one of ARC’s JANUARY 2018


OPEN HOUSE Sunday, January 28, 2018 • 10am to 2pm St. Philomene offers: • Small class sizes in a nurturing environment • Chromebook laptops for every student in grades K-8th • Affordable after school care • WCEA/WASC Accredited • "Dual Language Immersion Program" in our TK Program

WASC Accredited/WCEA Member

10 JANUARY 2018

STEAM-y Projects for Chilly Days By Sara Barry

Is winter putting a chill on your usual outdoor fun? Take advantage of the cold season to explore the

natural world, experiment, and get creative. Add art to STEM activities, and you get STEAM. From snow to stars to survival of animals, these activities are sure to STEAM things up.

Snow STEAM Heading up to Tahoe this month? Instead of sledding or building a snowman, try studying snow. Talk about what happens when you bring snow inside. Most kids know it melts and turns to water. Now get curious. Fill a jar with snow to do two experiments. (No snow? Try these experiments with crushed ice.) Predict how long the snow will take to melt. Mark the time you brought the snow in and check in on it periodically. How much faster does it melt if you place the jar near a heater or warm stove than if you place it in an unheated room or near a window? Estimate how much water there will be in the jar when the snow melts. If the jar is full of snow, will the water be all the way to the top? Mark each

Winter Sky STEAM person’s guess on the jar. Are you surprised at the results? Then take a closer look at snowflakes. Put a piece of black paper in the freezer for a few hours. Then bring it outside while it snows to capture flakes. Use a hand lens to take a closer look at the snowflakes. What do different snowflakes have in common? What differences do you see? After exploring snow shapes, make your own paper snowflakes. Cut circles out of white paper or use paper coffee filters. Fold in quarters (or smaller) and use scissors to cut intricate shapes. You can get templates online to help you create a variety of shapes inspired by actual snowflakes. Unfold to see your symmetrical snowflakes.

Read about it: “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats—This book for younger kids has less detail about snow, but you can talk about the snowball the boy puts in his pocket as part of your melting experiment. “The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder” by Mark Cassino—Learn about how snow crystals form and the answers to other questions about snow. “Snowflake Bentley” by Jacqueline Briggs Martin—It tells the story of Wilson Bentley, a real man determined to photograph snow. (You can find some of his images online at the Smithsonian Institute Archives.) The book includes an illustrated story and background notes in the sidebars.

Bundle up and take a look at the night sky. The longer darkness of winter gives us more opportunity to view the stars. See if you can pick out constellations. Star guides come in books, maps, decks of constellation cards, and even apps to help you. Orion’s belt—three stars close together in a straight line—is usually an easy one to spot. In addition to stars, try tracking the moon. Go out

early to see where the moon rises. Take another look in the afternoon and again right before bed to see if the moon appears to have moved. Track the moon for a month, watching how it changes as it waxes and wanes. Use dark paper and white or silver paint to create your own constellation charts or moon maps showing your observations.

Read about it: “Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations” by Jacqueline Mitton—Use as an introduction to constellations for young children. “The Moon Seems to Change” by Franklyn M. Branley—Learn more about why the moon changes size and shape. “A Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky” by Michael Driscoll— Learn about stargazing, including the stories behind the constellations and how to find things in the night sky.

Animals in Winter STEAM Bundle up and take a winter walk in the woods. Slow down and keep your eyes peeled for signs of animal life. Some things you might find: • Footprints in snow or mud • Scat • Holes in the snow from burrowing animals • Animal homes (beaver lodg- es, squirrel nests in trees) • Packed areas in the snow where animals have slept • Animals themselves

Ask questions like: What do animals need for the winter? Where do they find the things they need? Which animals do we see signs of? Where are other animals? Talk about what kids know and have observed already. For example they may have seen geese migrating or learned about butterfly migration in school. Use the “Read About It” books on page 13, STEAM-Y continued on page 13 JANUARY 2018 11

12 JANUARY 2018

STEAM-Y continued from page 11

field guides or the Internet to explore how particular animals cope in the winter. Create a model of an animal winter habitat. Use a shoe box or other small box, clay, con-

struction paper, paint, twigs or other objects gathered from nature, and anything else you need to show how a particular animal spends the winter.

Read about it: “Owl Moon” by Jane Yolen—Get inspired to go owling (or for another night walk) yourself. “Over and Under the Snow” by Kate Messner—Learn about animals including squirrels, bears, frogs, and more, and where they live over and under the snow. “Someone Walks By” by Polly Carson-Voiles—Explore the different ways animals thrive in the winter. There is so much happening in the natural world in every season. These STEAM activities are just a starting point for your winter exploration. What will you and your family observe, notice, wonder, and create next? Sara Barry is a writer who loves exploring the changes in her environment throughout the seasons.

Cedar Springs Waldorf School in Placerville

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(530) 642-9903 Waldorf Education develops human capacities and 21st century skills. Our five-acre wooded campus is located off Hwy 50 between Placerville and Shingle Springs. JANUARY 2018 13

Granite Bay Montessori

Providing a personalized academic journey for ages 2 years to 8th grade.

Affordable Tuition-Based Private Montessori School Open 7:00 am - 6:30 pm Low Student Teacher Ratio (12:1)

CALL NOW FOR A TOUR! 9330 Sierra College Blvd., Roseville, CA 95661 (916) 791-7849

Individualized Hands-On Learning Comprehensive core subject matter Project based life and social sciences’ curricula Practical life skills at all ages Art, Music, P.E., & Enrichment Classes



Adventure Christian School Preschool · Elementary · Junior High Private Christian school that will challenge and inspire. Before and after school care. Enrichment programs. STEM, drama, computer programming, web design, music and athletics. Kid tested. Parent approved. 916-781-2986

Brighton Schools 916-985-2222

Our mission is to provide many different avenues to find each student’s strengths and interests as we sculpt their education. A well-rounded program makes for well-rounded individual 21st Century Skills. At Brighton, students are challenged by a rigorous curriculum of Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science. In addition, students are enriched by foundational skills, a second language, art studies, music studies, physical education, character development, technology and people studies. Kindergarten–6th grade.

Capital Christian School Christ-centered Early Education (ages 2+) through High School, before/after school program. Fully accredited, college-preparatory STEAM-based academics, award-winning athletics, and outstanding visual and performing arts. Financial aid available. Schedule a tour today! 916-865-5600

Child Development Centers 916-286-7865

Treat your child to top notch learning and fun! We offer preschool, before/afterschool programs, and camps during school breaks throughout the Sacramento region. At Child Development Centers, we believe in inspiring children to develop a love for inquiry and exploration. We provide activities such as STEM, leadership, creative arts, healthy habits, and more, led by qualified, knowledgeable, and committed staff. Offered in Elk Grove, Rocklin, Davis, Woodland, Antelope, Dixon, and Sacramento. For details, visit

Jesuit High School 916-480-6060

Founded in 1963, Jesuit High School is part of a community of life-long learners, serving the Sacramento area for more than 50 years. We help young men grow into men, committed to faith and justice, leadership and service, academics and compassion. 99% of Jesuit graduates go straight to college, university or military academy and are offered more than $15.5 million in scholarships. A Jesuit education does not end at graduation; it is a life-long journey. JANUARY 2018 15

Little Folks University Little Folks University takes pride in offering a stimulating, educational program for ages 6 weeks through 12 years. We embrace each child as the unique and special individual they are. Stop in for a tour! 916-985-7055

St. Philomene Catholic School 916-489-1506

St. Philomene Catholic School offers a balanced, high-quality education focused on the Gospel values and teachings of Jesus Christ for students in Transitional Kindergarten through eighth grade. We provide Chromebook laptops to students in grades K-8th and a before and after school Extension program for all students in grades TK-8. We are currently accepting new students in grades TK-8. Attend our open house on Sunday, January 28, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Carden School of Sacramento Camellia Waldorf School Now located in Sacramento’s Pocket neighborhood, Camellia Waldorf School offers an outstanding academic program, small classes, music instruction, Spanish, field trips, and athletics. Established 1989. Preschool through eighth grade. | 916-427-5022

Cedar Springs Waldorf Over 25 years of academic excellence and a love for learning in a wholesome, natural setting for children preschool through 8th Grade, Cedar Springs Waldorf School is Nonsectarian, nonprofit, & AWSNA Accredited. | 530-642-9903

Granite Bay Montessori

Granite Bay Montessori

Founded in 1991, Granite Bay Montessori is a non-profit, non-denominational private school, serving students 2 years to eighth grade. Now enrolling for Fall 2018. Call to schedule a tour today! | 916-791-7849

Natomas Christian School A fully accredited preschool through 12th grade hi-tech school that is Biblically based, family centered, academically excellent, individually tailored and financially affordable. | 916-246-3320 16 JANUARY 2018

The Carden Method employs a phonetic approach to reading which builds strong skills in composition, spelling, writing and grammar. Students receive a solid foundation in Classical Literature, Science, Mathematics, plus French, Music, Computer Science, and Physical Education. | 916-488-1313

Golden Hills School The only fully-accredited, Junior kindergarten to 8th grade, independent school in EDH. Small Classes, integrated character education and parent involvement create confident, well-prepared graduates. Foreign Language, technology instruction, PE/athletics, art, music and drama. | 916-933-0100

Live Oak Waldorf Live Oak Waldorf School Nestled in the Sierra foothills, Live Oak Waldorf School offers preschool-eighth grade and homeschool programs. Our dedicated faculty strives to provide a rich and experiential curriculum that aims at developing intellectually curious and confident children. | 530-878-8720


Educating Leaders for Tomorrow Saint Mary School

Students at St. Mary School are faith-filled diverse learners who actively seek knowledge and express themselves through love in action. Our preschool to 8th grade Catholic school is located in East Sacramento. | 916-452-1100

• K-8 Public Charter School • Small Class Sizes • Full-Day Kindergarten • Core Knowledge Curriculum • Project Based Learning

(916) 259-1688 2213 SUNSET BLVD ROCKLIN, CA 95765

Carden School of Sacramento

A Distinctive Alternative in Classical Education


Psssst... Did you know Sacramento Parent readers win free stuff each month? We love giveaways and so we’ve made it quick and easy to enter. The goodies we round up are sure to brighten your day and your odds are, what are you waiting for? Enter and win! JANUARY 2018 17

18 JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 19

School of the Arts

10-month Theatre Training Program for Students Grades 4-6 or 916-446-7501 ext. 110

10-month Theatre Training Program for Students Grades 7-12 or 916-446-7501 ext. 113 20 JANUARY 2018

let’s go

Winter Mountains are for Kids By Stephen Muff

Rain and cold temperatures in the Sacramento Valley and the Sierra Foothills can leave kids restless and parents at wit’s end. There is only so much puddle-stomping and mall-walking that people can take before that, too, gets repetitive. While it might sound counter-intuitive, perhaps the solution is to go somewhere colder. Much colder.

The answer lies an hour and thirty minutes to the east, off the Norden/Soda Springs exit on I-80. When you get off the freeway, you take Donner Pass Trail Road to the east for about a mile, and take the Soda Springs Road exit to the south for another mile. There, you will reach your destination: Serene Lakes. Just a note, tire chains are often required this time of the year, so plan ahead!

flat, with a paved road that encircles them. This makes Serene Lakes a great place to go walking with the family, even (especially) if it requires boots. However, during the winter months, the surface of Serene Lakes is entirely frozen and you can find parents walking across it, hauling their kids in sleds. Snowshoeing is encouraged to avoid sinking into the deep snow.

Serene Lakes is actually two connected lakes: Lake Serena and Lake Dulzura. Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) is said to have named them. Originally, referred to as Ice Lakes. A company used to haul the ice out of the lake and send it by train to San Francisco before decent refrigeration. Now, that ice makes excellent igloos and tasty snow cones. It’s a good idea to bring a shovel and a bottle of flavored syrup up the mountain.

Parents have a plethora of options for burning off their kids’ energy. This includes skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, snowman/snow angel creation, or simply giving them a taste of a Midwestern winter by having them shovel the driveway. Yet, after playing hard, everyone can return to the cabin, make a fire in the fireplace, sip on some hot chocolate, and devour a big pot of soup. In no time, the kids will be in bed and Serene Lakes will live up to the name.

The two lakes combined are almost exactly two miles in diameter, and rather

Despite all of the activities available, the snow mutes the sounds and frightens away everyone who is scared of a white winter wonderland. This produces a calming effect to parents and children alike. This is good for both settling down after playing hard outside, but also for rejuvenating before embarking on a new work week. Restaurants are scarce in the area, which helps maintain the quiet atmosphere without the added rush hour traffic. Carrying in your groceries is highly recommended. However, a night out on the town or someone else to make breakfast for a growling stomach is just a short, 20-minute drive away to the city of Truckee. There are a few places that shouldn’t be missed. The Squeeze Inn is THE breakfast spot which may come with a bit of a wait on the weekend, but is worth every second. With his banana Mountains continued on page 23 JANUARY 2018 21

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let’s go around the snow, this is a great place for the whole family to refuel.

Mountains continued from page 21

One of the easiest ways to find cabins to rent up there is from Castle Peak Vacation Rentals, Airbnb, or HomeAway. The cost is roughly the same as a hotel, and having a cozy place nearby to warm up after instigating snowball fights can’t be beat. Many houses also offer outdoor gear as part of the rental, saving the added expense for those who don’t spend regular time in a snowy environment.

and an orange smile, Savvy’s Teddy Bear Pancakes has yet to disappoint a hungry kid’s tummy. And if that’s not enough sugar, Audra’s Hot Chocolate has a mountain of whipped cream topped with sprinkles. It’s okay if you like it, too.

For lunch and dinner, FiftyFifty Brewing is great for more than just beer (although that’s certainly a featured item). It has some of the region’s best burgers, fish and chips, and pulled pork sandwiches. After burning so many calories tromping

Whether families go up for the day or a week, they’ll find Serene Lakes to be a place where the whole family can play together, rest, and enjoy the peace and quiet that lives up to the name. Serene Lakes is a place where kids can build their own Frosty the Snowman or pelt their parents with snowballs. It is a place where memories are made. Stephen Muff is a travel writer and a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. He lives in Auburn with his wife and two daughters.


IC 1 0 0 %O R G ARN CED



24 JANUARY 2018

B Street’s New Home, The Sofia

around town

Rendering courtesy of B Street Theatre

There's a new place to experience the arts in town and it's The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts (The Sofia). For those of you who have fond memories of enjoying a great play at the B Street Theatre, you'll find The Sofia will now be host to the same quality productions in a beautiful, new, state of the art, jaw-dropping venue! Sacramento Parent had a chance to tour The Sofia in it's construction phase and now, we are very excited to announce that they are opening their doors with an amazing family series for residents to enjoy starting next month! The first Family Series production to take place at the Sofia inside the stateof-the-art Sutter Children’s Theatre will be entitled Gandhi!. It will be an original, full-scale musical about the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi. Lyndsay Burch, the writer and director of this production, received a generous grant in August 2016 from the Point West Rotary to travel to India and study Gandhi’s work first-hand

while serving as an Artist in Residence with an Indian company who was also adapting Gandhi’s life for the stage. In order to help this international story resonate with local students, Burch has centered the story around a modern American teenager of Indian descent who is often bullied. He responds to bullying through fighting and the story of Gandhi’s work served as guide as he discovers there are better ways to handle adversity and conflict.

Following Gandhi!, will be Le Clanche Du Rand’s theatrical adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (April 9-29). The revival of Jerry R. Montoya’s Treasure Island (October 15-November 4) will be next. The Family Series Season will conclude with Producing Artistic Director, Buck Busfield’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol (November 30-December 30). The Sofia is located at 2700 Capitol Avenue in Midtown Sacramento. For more information visit

Although Gandhi! is opening in February, you can subscribe now to experience the entire Family Series season. Liz Liles-Brown, Marketing & Sales Manager, shares some of the benefits to being a subscriber, “Each production within the series exposes children to different themes and lessons to be learned. In addition to being the most cost-effective option, subscribers receive top seating priority, flexible rescheduling and discounts on additional tickets.” JANUARY 2018 25

Locations in: Carmichael Citrus Heights/Fair Oaks Elk Grove Orangevale Sacramento Shingle Springs Sp

Montessori Trained & CA Credentialed Teachers Optional Before/After School Care

(916) 971-2432


Localidades: Carmichael Citrus Heights/Fair Oaks 2 Sites Elk Grove Orangevale Sacramento Springs Shingle Sp

26 JANUARY 2018

Maestros con credenciales y extrenamiento Montessori Cuidado opcional para antes/despues de la escuela

A Mother’s Plea to Save Her Son from the Throes of Mental Illness:

And Signs to Watch for in Your Teen or Young Adult By Kimberly Blaker

Regardless of our kids' trials and tribulations during childhood and into the early teen years, the furthest thing from any parent's mind is that our young adult child might develop a serious mental illness. Unfortunately, it is an equal opportunity disease that can strike even model kids who have rarely experienced a difficult day in their lives. Just as kids are preparing to become independent adults is when serious mental illness (SMI) often strikes. The incurable brain diseases of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder combined strike one in every 25 people typically as they are entering adulthood. My son (who I'll call Sean) was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder five years ago, at the age of 19. This disease is the combined illnesses of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. His adult life has been spent inside a living hell—literally. The early stage was marked primarily by delusions and paranoia: there was a government conspiracy against him, Li'l Wayne and Drake were writing derogatory songs about him, and pimps were trying to kill him. But this was only the beginning of a downward spiral.

Laws were created decades ago to protect the rights of seriously mentally ill individuals without taking into account that those with SMI are often unaware of their illness due to a symptom called anosognosia, and are therefore unwilling to seek treatment. Moreover funding has dwindled severely. Hospitals have shut down in droves in recent decades while insufficient public funding has impeded development of adequate out-patient services and housing for mentally ill people. Important to note, it's a medical fact each episode of psychosis and the longer in psychosis, the more damage done to the brain. The lack of timely, adequate, and appropriate treatment results in each episode becoming increasingly more severe reducing the likelihood of recovery. This has proven true for Sean. A year into his illness, he received a message from a game of Scrabble to cut off his ear or toe or to break a leg to save the world. In the

middle of the night, I awakened to his blood curdling screams. He had jumped 15 feet from a tree, fracturing his back instead. Just prior to this feat, he attempted, unsuccessfully, to silence the commands. He branded his arm with a fork, a scar that remains today. He was admitted for psychiatric care, but released within 7 days with little improvement. Over the next three years, he is hospitalized with increasing frequency, always released within days. He is paranoid and lives in constant fear with the belief his family and friends want to kill him. He hallucinates I say such horrific things to him as, "I'm going to chop off your head", or "I'll bury you alive." He has spent nights sitting on his bed prepared to bolt if I break down the door to kill him. My son isn't violent. But statistics speak for themselves, and psychosis often leads to violent and tragic acts. It was a several day battle to get him hospitalized, and he was released in 3 days in the same condition. Mental Illness continued on page 28

The first year of treatment showed only mild success. Antipsychotics are relatively fast acting, and if monitored, can be quickly adjusted or changed. But with a severe shortage of psychiatric beds, lack of adequate federal and state funding for mental health services, he was in and out of the hospital within days, still in psychosis. Further hindering recovery, he was allowed only one 30-minute psychiatric appointment per month. There are two broader problems with treatment for the SMI in America, which are laws and funding. JANUARY 2018 27

Mental Illness continued from page 27

For a couple months, though his psychosis was still present, he had at least improved. But this rarely lasts. With his paranoia that doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and his family are trying to poison him, he often refuses medication. Soon Sean took another downturn. He couldn't comprehend real conversations because the hallucinatory voices were so overpowering. He carried on arguments with these voices, told news anchors on

TV to shut up because they were talking about him, and was angry with the Pope for something the Pope was doing to him. He repeatedly insisted he was traversing. As a result, there were now two of him, or maybe three, and he didn't know which was the real him. He became confused and didn't know where he was and pleaded with me to get him home. I would try to reassure him, "you are the real Sean, and you are safe at home." It's heartbreaking.

But my son and I aren't alone. This plays out for millions of seriously mentally ill people and their families day-after-day, week-after-week, and year-after-year as loved ones spiral further into the abyss. It's often difficult to recognize any of these illnesses developing because many symptoms are typical problems associated with the teen years. Though there's no cure for schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder, recovery is possible for many with these brain diseases. But early detection is crucial to the prognosis for those with SMI.

SCHIZOPHRENIA SIGNS TO WATCH FOR IN YOUR TEEN OR YOUNG ADULT CHILD: With schizophrenia the symptoms usually, though not always, develop gradually over months or even a couple years. They show up as changes in behavior, thinking, and emotions. CHANGES IN BEHAVIOR MAY INCLUDE: Poor hygiene Talking to oneself or odd speech Difficulty with making or maintaining friendships Substance abuse Unusual facial or body movements

BIPOLAR SIGNS TO WATCH FOR: Bipolar is a mood disorder with swings to opposite extremes. There are a couple forms of bipolar, one in which mania is more severe. The less extreme state is called hypomania. With bipolar, the mood swings in teens can change in the course of just a few hours or days. During adulthood the swings can last much longer, for weeks or months.

Unblinking vacant expressions Difficulty picking up on social cues Threatening behaviors Increasing isolation Inappropriate emotional responses like laughing at something sad EMOTIONAL CHANGES ARE OFTEN SEEN IN: Angry outbursts Extreme moodiness or irritability Severe anxiety and fearfulness CHANGES IN THINKING MIGHT INCLUDE PARANOIA: Obsessing about the past Visual or auditory hallucinations Delusional thinking (illogical and nonsensical ideas) Difficulty with concentration or following a train of thought Trouble distinguishing dreams or television scenes from reality

28 JANUARY 2018

DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS TO WATCH FOR INCLUDE: Loss of interest in activities Decline in grades Difficulty concentrating Prolonged sadness or irritability Loss of energy Change in sleep patterns Change in food intake Feelings of guilt or worthlessness No longer experiencing pleasure Suicidal thoughts Anxiety, worrying, and anger

The difference between mania and hypomania is primarily the severity of the symptom where mania is more extreme.

Robinson & Fulton Law


Estate Planning and Special Needs Attorneys

Decreased need for sleep Elated mood to exaggerated optimism Increased energy Increased confidence Extreme focus on projects Increased physical or mental activity

CCHAT coordinates & refers as appropriate with physicians, other health professionals, school personnel and those involved in hearing aid fittings to ensure your infant’s total hearing healthcare needs are met. We inform referring physicians and professionals of audiologic evaluation results and recommendations a s well as coordinate professional services as required.

Make outpatient appointments by calling 916-361-7290

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Increased libido to hypersexual thoughts and behavior Difficulty concentrating Inflated sense of self-importance Risk taking and reckless behavior Racing speech and thoughts Grandiose delusions your link to special needs resources and articles

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Hallucinations. Schizoaffective disorder has the combined symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar. The symptoms therefore could be any combination of symptoms for the two distinct diseases. If your son or daughter exhibits signs, be aware that counselors and therapists don't always have the educational and medical background to diagnose or treat these specific brain diseases. Seek an evaluation at a walk-in mental health crisis center or from a licensed psychiatrist, or your family doctor who can make a referral. Kimberly Blaker is an author, freelance writer, advocate, and the mother of a young adult son with schizoaffective disorder. You can follow her on JANUARY 2018 29

monday Sometimes plans change, don’t forget to check the event’s website before you go!

Now that you’ve rung in the New Year, here are some fun ways to celebrate! Be sure to head over to to see more family-friendly events!

New Years, Fairytale Town January 1st




New Year’s Day

$2 Off Tuesdays

Flight School

10am at Fairytale Town

All day at Sacramento Kids Museum

7:30pm at iFLY Indoor Skydiving

Fairytale Town will be open for play on New Year’s Day, weather permitting.

Starting this month, the museum is launching a new discount day: $2 Off Tuesdays! Each guest will receive $2 off admission.

Kids ages 4 to 16 can experience the power of flight through one-on-one coaching. Each Flight School student learns a progression of flying skills in a fun group setting.

8 All Aboard for Storytime 11am at California State Railroad Museum

A fun program for imaginative young children ages 2 to 5. Volunteers will read a different railroad-related book each month and afterward, little ones can enjoy the Museum. WOW Makerspace

Bring your little one and enjoy the warming pool. Toys provided.

9 Preschool Playdate - Stormwater 10am at Roseville Utility Exploration Center



Harlem Globetrotters

Baby Loves Art

1pm at Golden 1 Center

10:30am at Crocker Art Museum

The Original Harlem Globetrotters are preparing for their action-packed 2018 World Tour against the Washington Generals! A star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to experience the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and oneof-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages.

Baby Loves Art engages babies (up to 18 months-old) in a visually stimulating gallery experience that gives parents and caregivers a fun opportunity to connect with their babies and each other. Baby noises are expected and welcome.

Fairytale Town will be open for play on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, weather permitting. Holiday admission is $5.75 for adults and children ages 2 and up. Members and children under 1 free.

22 All Aboard for Storytime 11am at California State Railroad Museum

A fun program for imaginative young children ages 2 to 5. Volunteers will read a different railroad-related book each month and afterward, little ones can enjoy the Museum.

30 JANUARY 2018

10am at Mike Shellito Indoor Pool

Inspire your child to be a future Planet Protector! Created specifically with preschoolers in mind, this program offers engaging and age appropriate activities introducing ways to care for our environment.

10am at Fairytale Town

$10 Tuesdays, January 30th

Parent Tot Playtime

WOW Makerspace provides an open exploratory learning environment for youth. It shares aspects of a science lab, shop class, home economics class, and art studio.

3pm at WOW Science Museum

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Harlem Globetrotters, January 15th



WOW Makerspace 3pm at WOW Science Museum

WOW Makerspace provides an open exploratory learning environment for youth. It shares aspects of a science lab, shop class, home economics class, and art studio.


Science Club: Borax “Snowflakes” 4pm at Sylvan Oaks Library

Kids 8 to 12 are invited to explore science concepts and create original projects with a variety of tools. Learn about crystals while making a shiny “snowflake” to take home. Materials provided.

10 Wee Wednesday 10:30 and 11am at Crocker Art Museum

A fun art adventure for children ages 3 to 5. Enjoy story time and view artwork through hands-on experiences that encourage visual literacy, social confidence, and critical thinking.

17 Art Lab: Masking Tape Painting 4pm at Arden-Dimick Library

Make a word or design with masking tape, paint over it, and remove the tape to reveal your design! (For all ages, plan to get messy.)

Youth Force


8am at Jazzercise Studio

Chanticleer the Rooster

Free fun fitness for youth ages 16 to 21 at Jazzercise! Pick any class on their schedule. Those under 18 must have a signed release by the parent.

30 $10 Tuesdays All day at Xtreme Craze

Only $10 for a session on Tuesdays. That’s a 33% savings. Each session is 4 back-to-back games.

4pm at Arden-Dimick Library

Presented by Magical Moonshine Theater; enjoy fun characters, medieval costumes, and live music in this delightful and interactive puppet show. All ages. Sensory Storytime 11am at Maidu Library

Designed for kids 9 and under with autism and/or sensory processing disorders. Featuring books, music, fidget toys and more! Noise and behaviors are not a problem.

31 Rockin’ Tots 9am at Roseville Rockin’ Jump

Just think, you can burn as many calories playing with your children on trampolines in 10 minutes as you would running for 33 minutes.









Explore & More!

Artful Tot (1/5-1/6)

New Year’s River Stroll

Critter Close Up

3:30pm at Colonial Heights Library

10:30am at Crocker Art Museum

10:30am at Effie Yeaw Nature Center

1:30pm at Effie Yeaw Nature Center

An afterschool drop-in program providing homework help, games, art and healthy snacks. Kids of all ages are welcome, but children younger than 8 years-old require adult supervision.

Toddlers explore artmaking with different materials in new ways, from printmaking and color mixing to working with clay and sculpture. Adults learn how to nurture creativity and encourage experimentation. This program is for children from 19 to 36 months-old (and their caregivers).

You may hear the splash of a fish or the call of a circling hawk. Perhaps the flash of a dashing deer tail or the ruby red head of an acorn woodpecker will catch your eye. Many sights and sounds await you on this walk.

Where do our animals come from? Why are they here? Meet a couple of small animal residents at the Nature Center up close, learn about their unique journeys and how they became an educational ambassador for the Nature Center. (All ages)

Sensory Storytime 10:30am at Sylvan Oaks Library

A special storytime for kids with autism and/or sensory disorders featuring books, music, fidget toys, crafts and more! The presenter is the parent of a young man with autism and there will lots of time for parents to network with others. Noise and/or behaviors are never a problem!

11 Coding Games for Kids 3:30pm at McKinley Library

Want to play fun computer games and be a coder? Then head to this beginner-friendly program!

18 Explore & More! 3:30pm at Colonial Heights Library

An afterschool drop-in program providing homework help, games, art and healthy snacks. Kids of all ages are welcome, but children younger than 8 years-old require adult supervision. Sportsman’s Expo (1/18-1/21) Times vary at Cal Expo

More than 600 exhibitors in five, packed buildings and around the outside space. 200+ free seminars in eight theaters and demo areas. Plus, a new archery contest. The new Wilderness Camp...for all campers and outdoor enthusiasts.

25 Stuffed Animal Sleepover All day at McKinley Library

Drop off your stuffed animal at the library any time, and then pick it up any time on Saturday, January 27, when you will receive pictures of its activities during its sleepover at the library.

Toddler Time 9:30am at Sky Zone

Share the experience of bouncing with your toddler! A special time for the little ones, without big kids around.

12 Library eLeague for Teens 3:30pm at North Natomas Library

Participate in the North Natomas Library’s video gaming league for teens ages 13 to 18! Train Rides 11am at the Fountains in Roseville

Hop on board for a train ride with the kids each day at the Fountains. Weather permitting.

19 Family Karaoke 3pm at Sylvan Oaks Library

Drop in for a lively karaoke session featuring popular hits, Disney and more. Kids and parents can blast out tunes or soulfully sing sad’s all good! Monster Jam (1/19-1/21) Times vary at Golden 1 Center

Monster Jam® Triple Threat Series™ brings adrenaline-charged family entertainment to fans across the country. These world-class Monster Jam vehicles and athletes deliver what fans want to see most!

26 Wii Gaming for Kids!

13 Science Fun for School Age Children 2pm at Carmichael Library

Bring out your inner scientist and play with magnets, create a marble maze, and/or make a rocket car. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. The Total Health and Fitness Expo (1/13-1/14) 10am at Cal Expo Fairgrounds

Featuring exhibitors, competitions, shopping, celebrities, free samples, nutrition help and more.

20 Family Storytime 11am at Central Library Kids’ Place

Join the library for fun songs, stories, fingerplays and a craft or play activity, all designed to build early literacy skills. (For babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.) Night Out at the Museum 6:30pm at Maidu Museum & Historic Site

Enjoy free art receptions and cultural presentations!

27 Kokeshi Dolls 2pm at North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library

A simple toy traditionally made in Northern Japan, the Kokeshi doll is the perfect craft to make with friends! Come explore Japanese culture and craft a Kokeshi doll of your very own. All ages.

3pm at Sylvan Oaks Library

Puppet Art Theater’s Cinderella

Drop in for free Wii gaming fun for kids ages 3 to 10. Play MarioKart, Wii Sports Resort, Just Dance and more. Have fun playing on the big screen with big sound, and get some exercise too!

Puppet Art Theater presents the classic tale of Cinderella, her stepsisters, and her glass slipper in this puppet show adventure!

2pm at Ella K. McClatchy Library

ExplorABILITY 10am at Sacramento Children’s Museum

A free bi-monthly, play-based program for children on the autism spectrum (ages 3 to 10). With a maximum of 20 participants per session, this program offers an opportunity for children to play in a safe setting facilitated by a rotation of Sacramento area professionals.

14 Hawk Talk 1:30pm at Effie Yeaw Nature Center

Learn about these amazing raptors that have color vision that’s eight times better than humans. Get a rare close-up look at a red-tailed hawk and learn more about the hawk family, which includes eagles and kites. Sunday Playday 10:30am at Crocker Art Museum

A gallery-based art-making experience designed to support school readiness for children ages 4 to 6. Led by a Museum educator, children will create a project using a variety of materials, inspired by a different artwork each month.

21 Nor-Cal Snakes 1:30pm at Effie Yeaw Nature Center

Try to “scale” back your enthusiasm as you learn all about our local snakes. Learn all about the varieties found here, their life history, habitats, and meet live snakes up close!

28 Sketch It 10:30am at Crocker Art Museum

Visitors ages 5 and older can sketch at their own pace while receiving drawing instruction. No experience necessary, all supplies provided. Free for Museum members and free with general admission for nonmembers. JANUARY 2018 31


Becky Shaw

January 19-February 17 at Big Idea Theatre A newlywed couple fixes up two romantically challenged friends: wife’s best friend, meet husband’s sexy and strange new co-worker. When an evening calculated to bring happiness takes a dark turn, crisis and comedy ensue in this wickedly funny play that asks what we owe the people we love and the strangers who land on our doorstep.

his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that results in a tremendous peach...and launches a journey of enormous proportions.

Monty Python’s Spamalot

join Peter on his real adventures in Neverland and encounter the Lost Boys, Princess Tiger Lily, and the evil Captain Hook. This superb adaptation captures all the magic and charm of everyone’s favorite story.

January 5-28 Davis Musical Theatre Company “Spamalot” retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, and features a bevy of beautiful show girls, not to mention cows, killer rabbits, and French people. The 2005 Broadway production won three Tony Awards, including “Best Musical,” and received 14 Tony Award nominations.

Shen Yun 2018 World Tour

Carnival of the Animals

January 28 at Mondavi Center Feathers, fur and fins—oh my! Circa’s fanciful production features creatures of both land and sea, who tumble, fly, leap and spin their way through the many wondrous worlds of the animal kingdom. Audiences will be whisked away on a thrilling circus escapade through the talents of seven acrobats, two singers, four musicians and delightful animations that bring to life juggling zebras, street-smart elephants and somersaulting kangaroos.

James and the Giant Peach

January 12-21 at Woodland Opera House Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the Tony Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul and a curiously quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald, critics rave: “James and the Giant Peach is a Masterpeach!” When James is sent by

32 JANUARY 2018

Motown the Musical National Tour

January 5-7 at Harris Center for the Arts It began as one man’s story...became everyone’s music...and is now Broadway’s musical. The true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers; shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Featuring classic songs such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” experience the story behind the music!

Peter Pan A Musical Adventure

January 11-14 at Sacramento Theatre Company The Darling children love to hear of Peter Pan’s adventures during his visits through the open window of the nursery, until one night the children

January 9 at Sacramento Community Theatre Combining ancient legends with technological innovations, historically authentic costumes with breathtaking animated backdrops and classical Chinese dance with expressive storytelling, to share with you beautifully diverse ethnic and folk traditions. Filled with an enchanting orchestral sound, this is a mesmerizing experience.

The Musical of Musicals: The Musical

January 3-February 11 at Sacramento Theatre Company A fanciful parody, with a cast of four in those fated recurring melodrama roles of villain, hero, ingénue, and matron. You, too, will be taken to fantastic, but somehow familiar, musical lands and are destined to leave the theatre in stitches.

Walkin’ After Midnight

January 18-21 at Sacramento Theatre Company Broadway takes inspiration from many popular genres, and country music is no exception. In STC’s first tribute to this unique musical sound, enjoy show tunes influenced by honky-tonk, bluegrass, Americana, gospel, and contemporary rock from musicals like “Big River,”“9 to 5,” “Bright Star,” “Million Dollar Quartet,” and many more.


It’s always a good idea to check the website before you head out! Animal House January 2-28 at Sacramento Fine Arts Center

Head to the Sacramento Fine Arts Center you animals, you! This one is sure to be grrreat! Corporeal: Paintings January 9-February 25 at Pence Gallery

Artist Mark Gleason’s figurative paintings exist in a world of dramatic tension. His subjects are often shown at the moment of danger, or potential threat, is most evident. For the artist, choosing to paint the figure stimulates in the viewer a powerful response, “We may feel a certain itchy sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction in our own bodies. Moods may get tangled. We respond to specific marks and the way that they were made: here violent and here graceful.” E. Charlton Fortune: The Colorful Spirit January 28-April 22 at Crocker Art Museum

California artist E. Charlton Fortune (1885–1969) came of age during a time when women began to redefine their expected roles in society. Fortune, unmarried and of independent spirit, produced plein air landscapes that were not delicate, soft, or feminine but bold and vigorous—and often thought to have been created by a man. Houses of Spirit and Shadow January 6-24 at Elk Grove Fine Arts Center

Displaying the artwork of local artist, Frank Barrera, whose inspiration comes from his childhood and the fairytale books he writes in his other life as a children’s author. The shadow boxes reflect scenes and memories from his childhood. The fairy temples are taken directly from his stories and from the Spirit House traditions of Southeast Asia. Portraits of Women Artists by Kurt Fishback Through January 14 at Pence Gallery

Kurt Fishback has worked tirelessly to document over 70 female artists from 2008 onward in California, based on suggestions by contemporary artists, curators, and collectors. His series includes emerging, mid-career, and well-established artists in their studios such as Hung Liu, Heidi Bekebrede, Linda Fitz Gibbon, Squeak Carnwath, and Ruth Rippon. The Illusive History of the Still Life in Modern Art: An International Exhibition January 3-27 at The John Natsoulas Center for the Arts

Displaying artists from England, Poland, Spain, and Italy, as well as artists from our own United States, this exhibition will bring together historical and contemporary references for the still life with paintings by Guy Diehl, Boyd Gavin, Frank Damiano, Gregory Kondos, Wayne Thiebaud and other renowned US artists; international artists will include James Bland (England), Ilaria Roselli Del Turco (Italy) and Agnieszka Nienartowicz (Poland) among others. JANUARY 2018 33

humor me

The View from the Passenger’s Seat By Pam Molnar My son starts Driver’s Education soon, making this my third run through this process. My first two experiences were with my daughters, but this time I will be sitting alongside a kid who grew up playing Super Mario Kart. For those of you who have not parented this stage yet, let me explain what you have to look forward to. The first time behind the wheel, most kids are too busy figuring out the mechanicals of the car to frighten you too much. Thankfully, all of my kids were well versed in how to set up the radio presets, how to move the six way seats and how to set the temperature controls to their liking. New drivers usually start out in their own subdivisions or a local empty parking lot. They awkwardly transition from the gas to brake pedal, make super wide or curb-riding close turns and try to apply their Driver’s Ed classroom lessons in real time. The speed of traffic is usually less than 25 mph, so it’s easy for both the student driver and the parent to adjust to. As your child progresses through their classroom work, they begin to realize that their parents might bend the rules of the road a little and often comment when you are driving. “Mom, you are supposed to stop at the line completely and then move up to the corner before making a right turn.” From that moment on, your driving skills are constantly critiqued and it’s better to just let them drive. Unfortunately, that means your student driver may need to start running errands with you. Once my kids were old enough to stay home alone, errands had become my quiet retreat time to listen to my music and go at my own pace, complaint

free. Now you will be at the mercy of a teenage Uber driver whose sense of direction is questionable. To make sure my daughter knew her way around town, I asked questions like, “Do you go north or south on Route 59?” She replied back, “Mom, no one talks like that. It’s just left or right.” I guess in their life experience no one does talk like that. These are kids raised with GPS and have never had to read an actual map. While you may feel safest driving with a teen driver on bright, sunny days, that doesn’t give them much variety for driving conditions. Hold onto the passenger seat, Mom and Dad. You will be riding shotgun in the dark, rain and fog. Did you ever wonder what those handles were for on the interior ceiling of the car? Now you know. Night driving with a student driver is not for the faint of heart or those who like nicely manicured nails. I spent the required 10 hours of night driving digging my nails into the dashboard while trying to remain casual about it. “Mom, you don’t have to hold onto the dashboard,” my daughter said to me. “I’m not holding on. I am just trying to figure out which color I want to get on my nails this week.” Parenting is filled with white lies.

suggest letting him behind the wheel while his friends are piled up in the back. Pictures of him from the back seat will eventually wind up on his friends’ Snapchat story with the caption “Fearing for my life!” Before you know it, the big day will come. Despite your fears and doubts, your child will be ready to take his driver’s test. After gathering all your paperwork, you get in the long line at the Department of Motor Vehicles. You can always tell the new drivers at the DMV. They are the only ones happy to be there. An instructor with the same demeanor as Roz from Monsters, Inc. will take them out to your car and onto the driving course. Your child comes back with a smile worthy of an orthodontic model, giving you a thumbs up. They passed. For a moment, you are relieved. You can check off another milestone and smile along with them. That is until they ask to borrow the car for their first solo trip.

Driving in the rain with a student driver is a special kind of scary. A heavy right foot and an overconfident turn can spin your car out into traffic faster than new drivers can react. It’s better than any thrill ride Six Flags has to offer! The funny thing is that I am not a thrill ride seeker. I am more a sit on the bench and hold everyone’s stuff kind of person. When it is your turn to drive for the carpool for your student driver, I don’t

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. Her secret to student driver survival is deep breaths, biting her tongue and excessive use of the imaginary brake. 34 JANUARY 2018





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