Raising Richmond: Best of 2013

If I do say so myself…

Well, here we are, friends. The last day of 2013. Before I jump into making resolutions and setting goals for next year,1 I wanted to take some time and look back on some of my favorite pieces for Raising Richmond from 2013. After all, this column (this section, really) is kind of like my baby,2 and I want to make sure we’ve done good by it this year.

The pieces featured here weren’t necessarily the most popular3 over the last 12 months, but they’ve earned a spot on this list because they offer up the most complete picture of what (I think) is great about this little space on the Internet that we’ve made together: honesty, humor, support, and room for the many different ways to navigate the wacky, wonderful world of raising tiny humans. I hope you enjoy looking back at them as much as I did.

(And Happy New Year!)

— ∮∮∮ —

A most important task

I started 2013 on the heavier side, but rightfully so I’d say. This piece was written in response to two highly-publicized (and totally terrifying) sexual assaults that left many parents of boys (me included) wondering if we’re doing enough to raise men that would not only not hurt women but would also not stand idly by if they see it happening.

Stressed out shorties

I’m a worrier. When I became a parent, I worried (of course) that my worrying ways would get passed on to my child. They totally did, but luckily my lifelong experiences with anxiety have seemingly equipped me to help my little worrywart cope. Here I offer five concrete ways for you to do the same with your anxious child.

Mom vs. dog

When things get crazy or I just need a break, sometimes the lovely and hilarious Kelly Gerow fills in for me. In her first contribution to Raising Richmond, Kelly perfectly articulated the inevitable inner conflict that takes place once you’ve got to balance the roles of “parent” and “owner of a crazy dog.”

Running for us

While crossing the finish line at last year’s Monument Avenue 10k was a fantastic moment, it was nothing compared to getting a mid-race high-five from my then-four-year-old. And 2014’s race is sure to be even better: we’ll tackle the Kids Run together before I pound the pavement on my own.

A great grandma

My grandma died in April at the age of 102. She was a great lady, and her passing was one of the saddest and most beautiful experiences of my life so far. I hope you’ll take a minute to read about her.

A boy and his thumb

Sometimes when you ask the Internet for advice, they’ll give it to you–in a nice, reasonable, nonjudgmental way, even! The comments on this post were super helpful as I sought to put the thumb issue into perspective; maybe they’ll do the same for you.

Favorite boy names

I will talk about baby names until the cows come home, do their thing, and then leave again. And apparently so will all of you!

When you give a kid a camera

My kid likes to take pictures, and sometimes I like to show them off. It’s not just that I’m proud of what he does; I also think it’s nice for everyone to see things from a preschooler’s perspective for a bit.

Keep on ticking

September brought the start of pre-kindergarten and, with it, a big ol’ bundle of nerves in our house. This is a story about what I planned to do to make The Big Day a little less terrifying and a lot more special.

Birthday Q&A

My kid turned five, I asked him some questions about himself, and hilarity ensued. For example…

Question: What’s your favorite thing to do inside?
Answer: Look at my weapons.


Christmas without Santa FAQ

A couple weeks ago I shared that our family doesn’t “do” Santa. In doing so, I learned two things:

  1. We can all rest assured that the Internet still has lots of opinions on things.
  2. Apparently Santa reads RVANews? That’s just magical enough for more to consider changing my opinions on the Big Man in Red.4

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  1. Who am I kidding? It’s always “drink more water,” and I always fail horribly. Although I sometimes throw in “be more awesome” which just sort of happens without me really trying, it’s so weird! 
  2. If only you could buy a website a cutie baby T-shirt
  3. As in page views, Facebooks likes/shares, Tweets–all that jibber jabber. 
  4. JK, no way. 
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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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