I miss saying hello during our double-issue months, so it’s nice to be back with this fresh, new issue to take us into spring!
To get you up to speed, I will share my recent parenting fail that turned into what I am confident will become a Thompson family Valentine’s Day tradition. We’ve never been ones to go over the top (or anywhere near the top) for this “Hallmark holiday.” In fact, my husband jokes every year that the best gift I give him is not wanting him to give me valentine gifts or cards – a real win-win! So in our lack of preparation, the thought somehow never occurred to me that while we aren’t into this holiday, our kids did not share this sentiment and were fully expecting a heart-shaped box of chocolates, at least, despite the fact that a year’s worth of holiday candy was still lying around uneaten.
Luckily, the day after Valentine’s Day, I had a lunch meeting at one of my favorite shopping and dining spots, Westbury Apothecary, and lo and behold, all of the Valentine’s candy was half off! I’ll never forget the kids’ faces when they saw the size of the heart-shaped box I scored for $6.50. They immediately declared February 15 Thompson Valentine’s Day forever more. Tradition started, fellas – this is a holiday I can get behind!
But typically, we don’t know exactly when a tradition starts, and it isn’t until years later that it dawns on us that something has in fact become a tradition. While I was manning the RFM photo booth at the Science Museum of Virginia’s Noon Year’s Eve, a family stopped by and told me that coming to the photo booth is one of their favorite family traditions. Surprised that I hadn’t realized we had been doing the event for that many years in a row, the dad commented, “Oh yes! We have many years’ worth of these pictures on our refrigerator, and we love looking at them every day!” Wow, how cool is that?!
The same goes for the RFM Summer Adventure Expo, now in its ninth year. I can’t believe we’ve been doing it that long, but families from far and wide assure me that making the trip to the Expo at Peak Experiences to check out summer camp options and get free kids’ climbs on the rock walls is one of their favorite spring traditions. We’re right up there with the Easter Parade and the Monument Avenue 10K! Okay, I’m totally kidding and not that big-headed… our Expo isn’t nearly as big and awesome as those, but it has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and promises to be a great day of summer planning for the whole family. More than fifty camps from around the state will be on-hand to show off their stuff in the hopes of showing your kids their best summer ever. In advance of that, check out all of the summer camps throughout this issue and start making your list of who you want to meet in person at the Expo on Sunday, April 14, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. You can find out more info on page 11, and make a note on your calendar to come out and join us for some summer planning fun.
As always, enjoy this issue of RFM!