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dalton-familyWow. As I sit here writing this letter I cannot believe that I am the mother of a new college graduate, a rising college senior and that my youngest will be heading to 5th grade in September. Say it isn't so. Where does the time go? My mother used to always say, "As you get older the years go faster." I must be really old. It seems as though I just came home from the hospital with my brand new (six week early) baby boy and now he's 22 and towers over me.

As we all prepare for Back-to-School, amidst the shopping for new shoes, clothes and school supplies, don't let the summer slip through your hands. Before we know it, we will be getting up and preparing lunches, signing homework agendas and running the rat race again with after school activities. Not that we didn't have the running around still for activities during the summer, but it just seems like so much more when school is in session!

If given the opportunity again, I would do everything the exact same way. I cannot tell you how many times I wish I were still running the boys to back-to-back sports, season after season. Now that they are adults, they do not need "mommy" taking them everywhere anymore (sigh) although I know they are always just a phone call, Facebook message or email away. I am trying to absorb all my time with my daughter since I know in the blink of an eye, she too will be heading off to college.

Some of you may have your oldest leaving for the first time for a new adventure. Whether it is preschool, kindergarten, middle school, high school or college, we parents will always have those butterflies, hoping that each new experience for our children is a wonderful one. We're always worried if they will make new friends, remember their locker combination or adapt to living away from home. Each new challenge for them is also a new challenge for us as parents. There will be laughter, there will be tears, but as we watch our children evolve into their own person it is so rewarding and brings a sense of pride in what we have accomplished as parents!

Be strong and always remember that your children do not remember how clean or neat your house is, but they will always remember when you took that extra moment to play a game, read a story or just cuddle during a scary thunderstorm. Enjoy parenthood!

Leanne Dalton is FredParent's Director of Advertising. She is the mother of Justin, a recent graduate of The Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Steven, a senior at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), and Rebeka, a rising 5th grader.


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Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.