MEET THE PARENT: Christine Gibson
Let’s begin with gratitude: A BIG “Thank You!” to the brave souls who volunteered to be profiled (and the not-quite-as-brave-but-equally-helpful souls who volunteered other people to be profiled) after reading the first installment of “Meet the Parent!” Keep the suggestions coming! If enough people step forward, maybe we can extend Eliza’s maternity leave until her baby goes to school.
If you’re dropping in for the first time, “Meet the Parent” is a way of introducing local parents to each other – the people you see all the time, but you don’t know their names or can’t ditch your kids for long enough to have an actual conversation. I figure that, by providing a basic introduction, these little profiles might help you skip the pleasantries and head straight to weightier topics, like when the actual last day of school is, anyway (I hear June 16). And Julie Barry, subject of the first “Meet the Parent,” tells me that she’s now getting autograph requests around town, so apparently it’s working!
This week, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Christine Gibson. Christine is a very recent arrival to Addison County, and is “absolutely desperate to meet people.” I myself have yet to meet Christine in person (we may have seen each other sometime, but we both have four young children, which means we see lots of people, but as through a glass, darkly). I already can’t wait to meet her, because she’s hilarious; check out the stories on her blog, https://christineegibson.wordpress.com/.
WHO ARE THE MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY?
Leo, my husband; Owen, age 9; Mary Catherine, age 6; Joseph, 3, and Patrick, 1. (Owen and Mary Catherine both attend Shoreham Elementary).
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN VERMONT?
A whopping 6 weeks!
HOW DID YOU END UP IN VERMONT?
My husband is the new general counsel at Whistlepig Whiskey here in Shoreham. We’ve come for visits before, but never imagined we’d end up here as it’s so far from the Detroit area where we both grew up.
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU HAD KIDS?
I audited computer systems for regulatory compliance and security purposes in the auto industry. It was just as glamorous as it sounds!
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH CHILDREN?
We are still in the honeymoon period with Vermont and love the newness of simple things, like sitting outside and counting all the different birdsongs (and not hearing any sirens). We also like walking and exploring the area around our house. The Shoreham Library has had some really fun programs. The kids have already discovered Middlebury Sweets – that’s their favorite!
WHERE WOULD WE BE MOST LIKELY TO FIND YOU AT 10 AM ON A SATURDAY?
Definitely at the Farmers’ Market. The wonderful food here is – hands down – my favorite thing about Vermont. I love that my kids can meet the people who grow/produce the food, too. We’ve even had a visit to Gold Yolk farm in Whiting, from which we buy our eggs; the kids loved seeing the baby chicks.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST CHALLENGING THING ABOUT RAISING CHILDREN IN VERMONT?
Mud. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Seriously.
WHAT BOOKS DOES YOUR FAMILY ENJOY READING TOGETHER THESE DAYS?
My kids will often sit still for audio books that they’d never have the patience to have me read to them. We’ve done most of the classics that way. Maybe that’s the upside of having a 10+ hour drive to see the grandparents.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER A PARENTING “MUST-HAVE?”
Coffee and patience (so maybe not too much coffee).
WHAT’S SOME OF THE BEST PARENTING ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Do away with the top sheets on kids’ beds. It sounds silly, but that simple change has made bed making so much easier (as in: it sometimes actually happens). I love stuff like that.
WHAT’S SOME OF THE WORST PARENTING ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
A family member once recommended euthanasia for a cold. They might have meant Echinacea. It wasn’t even that bad of a cold.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOURSELF AS A NEW, FIRST-TIME PARENT?
Only ever let WASHABLE crayons in to the house. Stay strong! Resist the regular kind at all cost!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO AFTER THE KIDS ARE IN BED?
THE KIDS ARE WITH A SITTER! WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE “ADULT FUN” ACTIVITIES?
The minute I’m brave enough to stick a sitter with the task of putting all four to bed, I’ll let you know.
If you see Christine and her family around town, welcome them to Vermont! And if you or someone you know would like to be profiled in a future “Meet the Parent,” contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.