One Man's Perspective

Saturday, September 25, 2010
Randy M. Cauthron, Managing Editor

Sitting down with the family

Time to throw a little bit of love at the many volunteers who came together to help make the 2010 Clay County Fair another great success.

The usual thanks goes to Phil Hurst and his staff at the fair administration offices, as well as the board. They might suggest otherwise with their behind the scenes perspective - but each year the fair runs like a well-oiled machine as far as the visitors are concerned. I'm sure there are more stories than we would care to know, but perception is everything and it appears that things run as smooth as can be. That's a credit to a lot of planning and the great work ethic a town of 11,000 can put together for nine days each year as we host the world through our familiar white and red arches.

And while a lot of the credit goes to those working and planning, a great deal of credit should also go to the many, many volunteers and organizations that come together to help Spencer and Clay County put on its best face for all of our visitors. It's a testimony to the surrounding area.

In case you were not aware of it, Monday, Sept. 27, is officially Family Day - nationwide initiative to remind parents that what kids really want is their parents at the dinner table. Sure, some after meal sweets don't hurt either, but dinner serves as an excellent opportunity to sit down with children and find out what happened during their day at school.

I know in my family that's becoming a bigger challenge. With extra-curricular activities between a freshman, a sixth grader, a first grade student and a kindergartner - it gets a bit crazy. Finding that time to all sit down together and eat sometime before 8 p.m. on some nights is quite the challenge, but I have to credit my wife with trying to make sure as often as possible we eat together as a family.

It's an amazing time to laugh and joke, and really gauge what's going on in your child's life. That's not always an easy thing to do. I don't know if you run into this or not, but teens and pre-teens tend to want to keep their personal lives ... well, personal. Mom and dad asking questions seems to cramp the style a bit. Don't let that stop you from asking anyway.

It's tough to watch your kids grow up, with two out of the house now, I really see things differently with the younger four, realizing just how quickly they will be looking for that independence and heading out on their own. That's why the idea of sitting down with the kids at dinner and taking a general interest in their lives is not something to take lightly.

Take advantage of Family Day - and make the most of those family meals. In short order, that table will begin to seem a bit empty.