weather icon Clear

Parent’s duties never end

Call it the Mom Gene — or better yet the Parent Gene.

For many women and men — as my husband likes to remind me — there’s just something innate that makes us want to be a parent or use parenting style skills. Often, it doesn’t become activated until a little one arrives, or it may even wait until your own parents have aged to the point where they need a little assistance.

For some the urge to parent doesn’t even require the presence of another human. There are many people who love their “fur babies” and treat them just as they would a child.

Once engaged, the gene never goes away. Sure, it may take an occasional nap, such as when you become an empty nester, but it wakes up when needed.

I have been thinking a lot about being a parent recently and what it means to be one.

I became an instant parent when I married my husband, who had a son. Though the gene had been triggered when we said “I do,” there was some resistance to putting it into action. I was hesitant to overstep boundaries and he was reluctant to let me fill in any gaps between his father and mother.

Of course, my work as a columnist and a casual mention in a piece about adjusting to having a child in my life didn’t help matters any.

And though it has taken nearly a quarter of a century, the bond between my stepson and I has grown close enough that my protective mama bear instincts come out whenever I suspect some sort of injustice in his life.

Now, many years later and after raising two kids, I have learned that while you can never actually stop being a parent, there can be a pleasant pause to parenting — for the most part.

Intermittent parenting duties pop in and out as the kids, who are off adulting, call in asking for advice or to share news.

But I’ve also noticed how that gene can go into stealth mode. For the past year my husband and I have been raising a puppy and we’ve gone through the same experiences as we did with our kids: potty training, teething and learning good manners, the latter of which we are still working on.

Just a couple of weeks shy of being 16 months old, our pup is a toddler. He is learning how to control his body and legs, which grew rapidly, and will run until he is exhausted and just falls asleep wherever he is.

Add into the mix a second child and the unexpected chaos that comes when you first become a parent has returned. When our kids arrived I often felt like that cartoon character left spinning in the street after an encounter with the Tasmanian Devil.

That spinning feeling returned last week when our youngest called to say she broke her leg and didn’t know what to do. With no support system and no way to work, Dad hopped in the car and brought our baby back home for some TLC and expert parental advice.

Knowing when to put the Parent Gene into play and when to let it go on standby so a child may assert their independence can be tricky, but at least we can take comfort in the fact that it’s here in case it’s needed.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

New law shapes golf course design

I like golf. While I was in college, I decided to take a class in golf – you could call it a “golf course” course. I figured it would be a great way to relax, enjoy nature, and (maybe) boost my grade point average at the same time! For a semester, I learned the basics: how to drive, chip, putt. It was enjoyable. Many of my classmates that semester had been golfing for years. They were better than me, but I was determined to get a good grade out of the class.

The art of communication in consciousness

For Memorial Day I am exploring human consciousness with you. Many misunderstandings have been fought over the lack of a mutual perspective among the parties involved. What better gift is there than one that assists in the art of communication? My work in formulating the discipline of Aquarian Theosophy has led me to the following understanding of humanities’ reality; consciousness is the basis of understanding.

Alumni events, marriage and a real Nazi

Ron’s column from a few weeks ago inspired me to tell a story about a weird event from my past. Mine is not as exciting as his in that there is no wrestler named Silo Sam. But there is at least one Nazi. And, no, not the current “I disagree with your politics so you are a Nazi” version. An actual card-carrying member of the party.

Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial to Boulder City?

Veterans’ memorials can be found all over the Silver State. They are well deserved. They honor individuals who served the nation, and also commemorate battles and events regarding the many military anniversaries in Nevada.

City manager bids fond farewell

I may be leaving Boulder City, but it was not an easy decision. From the first time I came in and met the staff and community leaders, I saw a city filled with people who truly care about where they live and work. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with some incredible people.

Is the grass always greener?

Many people in the past played a golf game to cement a business deal, didn’t they? They also played golf to socialize. Has Boulder City recognized lessening play on golf courses? Or, from another perspective, what happens when million-dollar homes are placed around our open space golf course with views of the McCullough Mountains? Do fewer people play golf on the Boulder Creek golf course?

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Shakespeare was the man when it came to comedy and tragedy. His ability to make people feel the intense emotions of the characters is still imitated today. The past few months have been filled with a bit of excited anticipation at City Hall as several longtime and high-level employees have found new roles in other acts. I’m here to borrow some Shakespearean lines, the first being from Ophelia, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” (Hamlet)

Me, my brother and Silo Sam

Recently, I’ve been enjoying watching shows on A&E related to professional wrestling back in the earlier days, with profiles on wrestlers I grew up watching as well as classic rivalries.