“There are two gifts we should give our children: One is roots, and the other is wings.”

You’ve likely heard or read this phrase many times, and when your kids were younger you may have thought it wise.

But as our kids grow up, the thought of helping them fly away to college, university and the workforce — and eventually to start families of their own — can be more difficult to take.

When kids leave home for good, the emotional toll can be huge, and their absence is a void many parents struggle to fill. When you think about it, you have spent at least 18 years ensuring every need of your child’s was met. You fed, clothed, chauffeured and taught life lessons to this small person, who suddenly isn’t so small anymore.

In the end, you’re left hoping you’ve imparted enough knowledge and life skills on your child to make them successful once they’re making decisions on their own, but that doesn’t make the transition any easier on parents.

That’s why, in this issue of Grey-Bruce Kids, we explore this phenomenon in a story about “empty nest syndrome,” with several practical tips about how to cope. (Page 18)

We also focus in on an issue facing many teenagers and their parents – vaping, which is a dangerous practice that has reached epidemic proportions in North America (Page 4). You may be surprised to see — after finally making progress in the battle against cigarette use — just how common this new way to ingest nicotine has become in Grey and Bruce counties.

Elsewhere, we explore the life-changing elements of the Rotary Youth Exchange program (Page 8), and how to achieve breastfeeding success (Page 14).

And if you have family pets — or if you’re thinking about adopting one — you’ll love Candra Schank’s personal story on Page 22. Pets can have an incredible impact on a child’s upbringing, confidence and development.

As we head into the busy fall season, I hope you’ll be able to enjoy the small bits of joy it brings. Life is a constellation of small moments, and there’s wisdom in stopping to enjoy them when we can.



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