From the July 2017 issue

Insights and Insects

The older I get, the more I realize that I’m still discovering who I am. Not in any fundamental way. I think I have a pretty good lock on that. It’s more the things in the margin.

For instance, just a few summers ago, I discovered that I love bugs. I never really thought about it before, but as I was working in the garden with my friend, I ended up being the worm wrangler who ushered them away from her squeamish presence. “They really don’t bother you, do they?” she said. And it dawned on me: I actually really like bugs and always have. Since then, I’ve fostered ladybugs and released them in my garden and am currently waiting for praying mantis eggs to hatch.

Another example: A couple of months ago, I went to a concert at Otus Supply in Ferndale. It was a standing concert, no seats, so everyone pretty much mills around waiting and eventually listening to music. About 60 minutes in, I realized: I hate standing concerts. It feels awkward to me, probably because I don’t dance. And honestly, I don’t think I ever have liked them. I love live music, but I don’t want to stand for hours to hear it.

The funny thing is that so many of these types of personal preferences have existed for a while – often recognized by my close family or friends long before I fully felt them myself. And I don’t think I’m alone.

Sometimes we are the worst at realizing our preferences. How often has your child or partner/spouse sworn that they loved/hated something that all evidence suggests is bunk? (Sure, you aren’t really a sweet-eater – then why do you eat four cookies fresh out of the oven, sweetheart?)

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In this issue of Metro Parent, we offer help for you in determining one of the most profound questions a person could ask about themselves – what is your ideal vacation? 🙂

You may think you already know. Great – then check out our top picks for your trip type (Page 31). If you aren’t sure, see which vacation destinations most suit your family, and that will give you a glimpse. Got a mixed trip-fit household? Don’t worry; we’ve included a few pointers for you, too.

Another perfect summer idea – something to stretch yourself – is our story on how to connect with your neighbors (Page 36). In today’s age, we’re almost more likely to connect with someone from another country or state as we’re living it up at Disney or a family beach retreat than we are to get to know our own neighbors. Check out our list of 14 fantastic ideas to change that.

I’ll add a bonus idea here: Pick up a carton of ladybugs at the farmers market like I did and go from house to house on your street offering a spoonful for your neighbors’ yards. It’s better than baked goods, great for the environment and certainly memorable.

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