My mother is a writer. The first time I helped her with a writing project was for a book she published in 1972. I was 10, and my participation (shown in the photo above), involved being a guinea pig. She was testing recipes for Cosmetics in the Kitchen, a book that utilized common ingredients that anyone might have at home. She made me try various batches of creams, lotions, and then more creams and lotions. For several months, everyone in my family had very soft skin.
By the time I was 12, my assistant job changed to editor. I had already shown an interest in research and writing, and Mom allowed me to proofread her second book, a project on meteorology that she co-authored with my scientist dad. I’ve been writing and editing ever since.
This issue of Black Hills Parent, my first as Editor-in-Chief, celebrates that sense of unparalleled inspiration that we take from our families, teachers, and role models—inspiration related to education. We took our cue from BHP’s “Teachers of Excellence”—inside, we celebrate five outstanding educators in our area who inspire our children every day. We also introduce Cover Family Todd and Frannie White, who collaboratively decided that Todd would be their family’s preferred stay-at-home parent and homeschool teacher.
Another area of inspiration grew into a special section on living with disabilities—anchored by blogger Meriah Nichols’s brave take on parenting a child with Down Syndrome, coupled with a heroic story of Avery Boechler, a kid who testified on behalf of young people with dyslexia. Other stories also touch on education and disability, including our “Making an Impact” nonprofit. This issue’s featured organization is CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates
You’ll be pleased to see familiar favorites, including an expanded “Ages & Stages” section—which also grew from inspiration. We feature the idea of empowering children with knowledge, manners, and spirit—and celebrate kids who do much more with their free time than stare at a screen. One is Colton Seamands, a 12-year-old cook, and the other is our state’s youngest glider pilot, Annie Lien.
We hope you’ll find your own inspiration in the pages of our spring issue.
I hope these personal stories help you to remember your own dreams.