Austin mom shares her experience of when her child almost drowned

Fourth of July is almost upon us. This week and all summer long, we head to pools, to lakes, to any body of water we can get into with our families to cool off from the heat.

But a fun day in the water can turn tragic in a few minutes time.

Teddy Van Winkle, 3, almost drown in June when he went after a beach ball in a neighborhood pool. Tina Van Winkle

Tina Van Winkle learned firsthand how quickly a child can become submerged in water June 9 while swimming with her son Teddy, 3, her baby Roger and her father at a neighborhood pool in the Wells Branch area. It was a quiet Saturday morning with two lifeguards in their stations and more in the office and about 15 people in the pool, Van Winkle says.

The Van Winkles had been swimming, and Teddy had asked to take off his Puddle Jumper flotation device so he could practice floating. Then, when they were all getting out of the pool, her father was carrying the baby and she thought he also had Teddy as well. She swam to the pool ladder to get out of the pool to follow her dad back to the picnic table.

“I had visually registered that Teddy was with my dad,” she says. She had even seen him out of the water and on the pavement next to the pool, following her dad back to their picnic table. “My dad thought I was bringing up the rear … it was a misunderstanding.”

RELATED: Become a water guardian with Colin’s Hope

Teddy had seen their beach ball floating in the pool and jumped in to grab it. When Van Winkle saw that Teddy wasn’t with her dad, she scanned the pool and saw him floating with just his arms above water in the shallow end, which was about 3 feet. She jumped in and pulled him out. The lifeguards had not registered yet what had happened, she says.

Teddy was limp, but hadn’t lost consciousness and he immediately started spitting out water. They walked home, thinking that everything was fine, but Teddy was lethargic and wasn’t himself.

She took him to the St. David’s Children’s Hospital in North Austin, where he stayed overnight for observation because he had fluid in his lungs.

Van Winkle and her father both had years of swimming experience, he as a lifeguard and swim instructor in his youth and she on the swim team in high school. “I know never to take my eyes off of kids,” she says. “And I did.”


Tina Van Winkle with sons Roger and Teddy had been a lifeguard in her 20s as had her father. Tina Van Winkle

“Even though I already knew a lot of the guidelines about water safety, I didn’t follow them to the letter,” she says.

The experience confirmed with her how quickly it could happen — she estimates he was out of her sight maybe two minutes — and the importance of having someone within arms’ length of a child anytime you’re around water, and the importance of verbally confirming who is watching each child. It’s also a reminder for parents and guardians to have strong swimming skills themselves, she says, because she could jump in quickly and pull him out of the pool.

Even though Teddy can talk about that day and how scared he was, it hasn’t stopped him from swimming. He has been back in the pool twice since then and will take swimming lessons next month.

“He was fearless again,” she says. “Maybe that’s a bad thing, because it led him to believe he could swim.”

Dr. Elinor Pisano, hospitalist at St. David’s Children’s Hospital

Dr. Elinor Pisano, the pediatric hospitalist that saw Teddy at St. David’s, says the hospital has seen a spike in the number of drownings or near-drownings in the hospital this May and June.

“We do see a spike every spring and summertime,” she says, but this year the number of deaths seems higher. She could not give specific numbers.

Deaths can happen within five minutes she says and the likelihood of a fatality or severe brain damage goes up with each passing minute, she says.

“The key thing is supervision,” she says. “It’s not that there is a total absence of supervision; it’s a momentary lapse of supervision.”

Often it’s a case like the Van Winkles’, where there are multiple caregivers and someone assumes that someone else is watching the child.

“Someone turns their back for just a minute, and they later realized that child is underwater,” she says.

Make sure that there is a designated adult watching the child and that that adult is within arms’ length. If you’re that adult and you have to step away, confirm with someone else that they are watching the child, Pisano says.

If a child does become submerged, pull them out as quickly as possible, ask someone else to call 9-1-1 and start CPR. Make sure the child is seen by either an emergency medical technician or in the emergency room to confirm that their oxygen level is normal and that there are no lasting effects.

Related: Is there such a thing as dry drowning?

Other things you can do to prevent drownings include making sure you have a four-sided fence around your backyard pool with a locked gate that closes behind you; and giving kids swim lessons beginning at age 1. Pisano says there was some old thinking that it would give kids a sense of bravery that they could swim before they really could, but now there’s some evidence that it does provide some level of protection. She does warn, “There’s no way to drown-proof your child.”

While drowning is most common in children 4 and younger, it also is common in teenage boys and when there is alcohol or substances involved.

It also doesn’t always happen in in-ground pools. Wading pools, above-ground pools, lakes, hot tubs and bathtubs all can be dangerous.

RELATED: Before you go swimming know what’s lurking in the water

RELATED: Can pools make you sick? 

Follow our swim safety tips:

Don’t forget that even if the pool is safe, water can be a very unsafe place. Keep these things in mind when you head to the pool, lake or beach this weekend.

Before you dip your toes into whatever body of water you choose, practice these rules for water safety we compiled using experts from the YMCA, City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department, Colin’s Hope, Safe Kids Austin, the Lower Colorado River Authority and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What does drowning look like?

Unlike what we see in the movies, “drowning is a silent thing. There’s no splashing, yelling or choking,” says Stephanie Hebert, the injury prevention coordinator at Dell Children’s Medical Center and the Safe Kids Austin coordinator. “They go under and when they are under, you don’t hear them, you don’t see anything.”

Drowning also doesn’t take long. Irreversible brain damage happens in as little as four minutes. Children who drown are usually missing for less than five minutes and usually are in the presence of at least one parent.

For children younger than 15, it’s the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths, behind motor vehicle accidents. Children younger than 5 are more at risk. Boys also are more susceptible because they tend to take more risks.

It can happen anywhere. Pools with lifeguards, natural bodies of water, bathtubs and toilets.

As of mid-May this year, 16 children already have drowned in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

It’s also preventable, so let’s focus on that.

Watch the water

The No. 1 thing parents can do to prevent a child from drowning is supervise their children.

For young children, that means getting in the water and having hands-on contact or being within arm’s length.

For older children, that means watching them in the water at all times. Reading a book in a lounge chair or talking to a fellow parent or texting isn’t supervising.

The Austin-based drowning prevention nonprofit group Colin’s Hope distributes 75,000 water safety packets every year that include a Water Guardian bracelet. The bracelet slips on and signifies that you are the designated adult watching the children in your group. If you need to take a break, you hand it to another adult, whose sole job is watching the water.

The City of Austin ordinance requires that kids 9 and younger have an adult with them to be in a city pool and that kids ages 10 to 14 can be by themselves if they pass a swim test, but why chance it? Supervise everyone in your group.

Vacation is also no time to let your guard down. Kids can drown in cruise ships and hotel pools.

Always have a phone nearby and learn CPR. A water safety class is also a great idea.

Good swimmers drown, too

Even kids who know how to swim can drown, says Alissa Magrum, executive director of Colin’s Hope, which was started by the parents of Colin Holst, a 4-year-old who drowned in an Austin pool in 2008. Colin had had swim lessons and was at a life-guarded pool with his family and friends watching.

“A lot of families think, ‘My kids are decent swimmers; they’ve had swim lessons, they are fine,’ ” Hebert says.

But things happen. Children accidentally swallow water. Or they hit their heads. Or they misjudge their abilities. Or they get tired or dehydrated or hungry.

Donita Grinde-Houtman, the aquatic supervisor for Austin Parks and Recreation, says lifeguards respond most often between 2 and 6 p.m. because kids get tired. “Kiddos have been at the pool all day long, they’re getting tired, and they don’t recognize that they don’t have the energy to swim as far as they need to.”

Take frequent breaks. End earlier than you think you should. Rehydrate and refuel throughout the day.

Not-so-good swimmers need more help

That doesn’t mean water wings, pool noodles and other pool toys to stay afloat. Put a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket on your budding swimmer. They have to have one on for getting in a boat, so why not extend that to any body of water?

Before you go to a pool, define where the shallow end is, especially for not-so-good swimmers. One of the most common reasons lifeguards make a water rescue, says Bret Kiester, the executive director of the Hays Communities YMCA and the aquatic directors liaison for all the Austin-area YMCAs, is when kids who aren’t good swimmers find the deep end. Sometimes they’ve monkey-crawled along the side of the pool to that end; other times they’re following an older sibling or they don’t know where the deep end starts.

Lifeguards are great but not a guarantee

Be hesitant to swim in a place without a lifeguard because they add a layer of protection. However, they’re not insurance.

One lifeguard Magrum was working with put it this way: “We are not baby-sitters. We are here in an emergency.”

Lifeguards have a lot of people to watch, not just your child. Their job gets even more difficult the more people are in the pool and the less-clear the water is. They also get distracted by children horsing around (i.e. running around the pool) and other emergencies not in the pool.

Lifeguards, who go through similar training programs, are supposed to scan 180 degrees every 10 seconds from top to bottom, from right to left. If you see a lifeguard who isn’t doing that or you notice that lifeguards aren’t getting frequent breaks and rotating out, alert a supervisor.

Swim lessons

Swim lessons statistically have been shown to reduce a child’s chances of drowning, but it’s not a magic shield.

The YMCA and the City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department start swim lessons as parent-and-child classes at age 6 months, old enough for a child to have good head control.

Those early classes are about familiarizing the baby with water and teaching parents good water safety with their children.

By age 3 or 4, children can take solo lessons, but if you’ve missed that age, don’t worry. “It’s never too late to learn how to swim,” Kiester says. He’s had students as old as 92 learn to swim.

Kids are grouped by age, then by ability, and there are adult classes, too — something parents who don’t know how to swim should consider in order to be able to save a child in danger.

Swim lessons are not just about learning strokes. They teach about being comfortable and water safety.

Sometimes kids will have a bad reaction to swimming lessons. It might be the time of day or it might be the coolness of the water, Grinde-Houtman says.

If your child is truly afraid of the water, Grinde-Houtman says, you might have to take a step back and start with something like sitting at the side of the pool and putting her feet in the water.

Free swim lessons are available from the Austin American-Statesman’s Swim Safe program, which provides lessons at YMCA locations and City of Austin pools.

A great time to do swim lessons is in the winter, Kiester says. They tend to be less crowded and when summer starts, kids won’t have to re-learn to be comfortable in the water again.

Natural bodies of water

Rivers, lakes, springs and oceans get tricky. The surface is uneven. “You might be wading in waist-deep water and the next step you’re in 16 feet of water,” says Clara Tuma of the LCRA.

You also can’t see the bottom to know if someone has fallen in.

It’s also hard to judge distances. People often get in trouble because they pick a point to swim to and underestimate how far it is. “They run out of energy halfway there,” Tuma says. “They can’t just stop and sit under a tree.”

Wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket allows them to rest and float if they need to.

And often people get confused as to where they are to report an emergency.

Swimming on natural bodies also means you’re not the only thing out there. Keep a look out for boats and personal water crafts that might not be able to see you.

In oceans, teach kids how to deal with rip currents that push swimmers away from the shore.

Never swim alone no matter what type of water you are in.

Keep safe at home

Each year many kids drown at home. Kids can drown in as little as 1 inch of water.

Never walk away from a young child in a bathtub, not even to answer the phone or grab a towel.

Keep locks on toilets if you have infants and toddlers. Keep plastic kiddie pools empty as well as mop buckets.

If you have a backyard pool, install a locking gate system on all four-sides of the pool. If a child goes missing, check the pool or hot tub first before looking inside the house.

Teach baby-sitters about pool safety.


Know which sunscreens work best and what to look for in a sunscreen. AMANDA VOISARD / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen and bug spray, too. 

We tested more than 20 sunscreens last week to see which ones worked best and last year we tested 16 bug sprays to see which one actually repelled mosquitoes. 

Looking for summer camps? We have your last-minute guide for Austin

As school ends or has ended, now is the time parents often do the last-minute scramble to line up summer camps. Maybe the camp you thought would be the perfect fit for your child, suddenly isn’t, or the camp let’s you know right before it was supposed to start that it isn’t.

Below are some all-around camps that usually have some availability, as well as some camps that have contacted us about their availability:

Find more camps in our summer camp guide, Austin company Kwaddle, has created an website  that has more than 8,000 camps and activities for you to search. You can search by type of camp, by your kids’ interest or search by ZIP Code or your child’s interest. Find it at

Jessica Gonzales, from the Oak Hill YMCA, is outnumbered as her camp kids spray her with water guns as part of the festivities in the summer camp Olympics. The YMCA of Austin is hosting its 2015 Summer Camp Olympics Friday, July 24, at the Texas School for the Deaf. The Summer Camp Olympics is designed to engage children in good old fashioned fun and to get a little wet on a hot day.


In addition to being a schools at at YMCA centers, its overnight camp location on Onion Creek is having day camps this summer in anticipation of opening up for overnight stays the summer of 2020.

Here is this summer’s lineup: 

  • Week 1: Kids vs Nature, ages 6-8 (June 11-15)
  • Week 2: Kids vs Nature, ages 9-13 (June 18-22)
  • Week 3: Canoe 101, ages 8-13 (June 25-29)
  • Week 4: Canoeing Adventure, ages 8-13 (July 9-13)
  • Week 5: Aim High, ages 8-12 (July 16-20)
  • Week 6: STEAM Camp, ages 8 -12 (July 23-27)

You can register by clicking this link.

Find the YMCA’s other camps at Camps are typically $178-$240 a week.

Extend-a-Care For Kids

Elementary kids can find an Extend-a-Care For Kids camp at their school or at nearby schools throughout Austin and Hays County. $190 a week. Find their locations and details at

Camp Double Creek

This camp in Round Rock gives kids the experience of an overnight camp, but while they sleep at home at night. It also buses kids from throughout Austin to the camp in Round Rock. $355 a week.

BHW 2018 Mobile App Development Camp

Learn how to create apps with a free hands-on camp. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. June 27-28. The BHW Group, 6011 W. Courtyard Drive, Suite 410. Apply at

Austin Film Society

Find camps on these topics:

  • Animation Creation, June 4-8 (Ages 9-11); July 30-Aug. 3 (Ages 11-13)
  • Girls Camp, June 11-15 (Ages 12-15)
  • Documentary Workshop, June 25-29 (Ages 14-17)
  • Austin Public Young Producer’s Workshop, July 9-13 (Ages 15-17)

The camps are held at Austin Public, 1143 Northwestern Ave. Most are $345 for the week.

Mudcat Puppet Camp

Kids 6 and older can learn how to make puppets and work with them at Mudcat Puppet camps.

  • Hand puppet camp, June 4-8, June 25-29, July 9-13, July 16-20, and Aug. 6-10
  • Giant puppet camp, for ages 10 and up, July 23-27 (Dragons and Monsters), July 30-Aug. 3 (Aliens and Robots)

The camps are at Paragon Prep Middle School, 2001 Koenig Lane. Camps are $300 a week. Register at

Camp Red Bird at the Austin Center for Grief & Loss

Kids ages 6-12, who are going through the loss, can attend a day camp that will help them with therapeutic games, crafts and activities.

The camps run 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 11-15 and Aug. 6-10 at Austin Center for Grief & Loss, 2413 Greenlawn Parkway.

Make ATX Camps

Make ATX has some fun camps for young makers this summer. Use their lasers to create art.

  • Laser Day Camp, June 4-8, ages 8-12
  • Architecture Laser Day Camp, June 18-22
  • Board Game Design Laser Day Camp, July 9-13 for ages 8-12

The camps are $250, 9 am. to 1 p.m. and held at Make ATX, 1109 Shady Lane.

ATX Ballers

Pick up better basketball skills this summer.

  • 9 a.m. to noon June 25-28, ages 7-14, St. Austin Catholic School, 1911 San Antonio St.
  • 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. July 9-12, ages 7-14, Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3003 Northland Drive
  • 9 a.m. to noon,  July 16-19, grades 9-12, St. Austin Catholic School, 1911 San Antonio St.

The camps are $110.

Code Wizard HQ camps can be done at home.


This one you don’t even have to leave home for. Sixth- through 12th-graders can learn to code in three weeks by taking one-hour online classes Monday through Thursday. You can learn Java Script, HTML/CSS and Python. The camps are 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. or 2 p.m. June 11-28, July 9-26 or July 30-Aug. 16. $149 each week or $399.

Moolah U

Have your kids learn about how to create business and earn money.

The one-week camps are throughout Austin:

  • Austin Java Barton Springs, 1608 Barton Springs Road, June 4, July 30, Aug. 13
  • Casa Chapala, 9041 Research Blvd., June 25, July 30, Aug. 13
  • St. Edward’s University, 3001 S. Congress Ave., July 9, July 16, Aug. 6
  • Mangia Pizza, 12001 Burnet Road, June 18, July 16
  • La Madeleine, 5493 Brodie Lane, July 23
  • Capital Factory (teens only), 701 Brazos St. June 18, July 23
  • Logan’s Roadhouse, 2702 B. Parker Road, July 9, Aug. 6

The camps are $315 a week, plus lunch if it’s in a restaurant.

Westwood Summer Camps

Many high schools offer summer camps for young athletes. Westwood High School sent us their schedule:

June 11-14: 9 a.m. to noon, Sand Volleyball Camp (fourth-eighth graders)

July 16-19: 8 a.m. to noon, Future Warriors Volleyball Camp (fourth-eighth graders)


June 4-6: 1-4 p.m. (third-sixth graders)

June 11-13: 1-4 p.m.(seventh-ninth graders)
June 4-7: 8 a.m. to noon, (first-ninth graders)
Football camps
June 4-6: 6-8 p.m. Lil’ Warriors (first-sixth graders)
June 4-6: 6-8 p.m. Future Warrior Football (seventh-eighth graders)
June 13-15: 5-8pm, 8-11 a.m. (third day) Lonestar Passing Academy (fourth-12th graders)


June 4-7: 1-4 p.m. (second-ninth graders)

Girls basketball

June 18 -21: 1-5 p.m. (fourth-ninth graders)

Boys basketball
June 4-7: 8 a.m.-noon (third-sixth graders), 12:30-4:30 p.m. (seventh-ninth graders)
Swim and tennis
June 4-7: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (kindergarten-ninth graders)

June 11–14: 8-9:30 a.m. (kindergarten-ninth graders)

Register at

If you love Girls Empowerment Network’s We Are Girls conference, you can send your daughter to a camp just like it. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Girls Empowerment Network

Girls Empowerment Network holds two camps for camp sessions for girls who are in third-eighth grades.

  • campGEN – Part 1, held June 18-22,“Own My Power.” This camp focuses on building confidence and self-love. Girls will explore stress management, identity, self-compassion and body positivity. Activities include yoga, art and craft projects, writing, talent shows and games.
  • campGEN – Part 2, held July 16-20,  “Use My Power.” Girls will focus on using their confidence to advocate for themselves and others. Girls will explore and practice confident communication, advocacy, healthy friendships and values. Activities include role playing, skits, a fun community advocacy project, and games.

Both campGEN summer camp sessions will be held in Downtown Austin at First Baptist Church, 901 Trinity St, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Each five-day session costs $330.

Esquina Tango & Kids Acting Dance & Theatre Camp

In the morning campers will be learning different Latin Dances and their cultural backgrounds with La Esquina del Tango experienced instructors. In the afternoon kidsActing Foundation will take over and campers will work on a Musical where they will act, dance and sing. They will also work on props and scenery Culminating into a final showcase on Friday with costumes, lights and a live accompanist.

The camp is at July 23-27, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.  Esquina Tango, 209 Pedernales St. The camp is $210. Register at

Do you have a summer camp that is open or one you would love to recommend? Give Austin families the information by leaving a comment in the comment section of the blog.


Plan your Memorial Day weekend with the kids with our calendar

Parents, it’s going to be a long weekend. And hot, with highs in the upper 90s. If you’re going outside, don’t forget your sunscreen and your bug spray.

RELATED: Get a jump on summer with our family calendar

We have a few ideas of how to keep kids having fun in and around Austin this weekend. Don’t forget: Sometime this weekend, try to remind your children what Memorial Day is really about — not hot dogs and hamburgers, but soldiers who gave their lives.


Tween Anime Club: “Wolf Children.” 3 p.m. Friday, Twin Oaks Branch.

El día de los niños/El día de los libros Celebration. 3 p.m. Friday, St. John Branch. 10 a.m. Saturday, Milwood Branch.

Kids Create: Engineering Challenge. 2:30 p.m. Friday, Yarborough Branch.

Enjoy the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


Wildflower Center. Nature Nets. Explore creatures in the creek with a net. Noon Saturday. $15 each parent/child. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.

BookPeople 10:30 a.m. story times: Elephant and Piggie, Wednesday; Baby Signs, Wednesday; Modern First Library, Saturday; BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

Barnes & Noble 11 a.m. Saturdays, story times at all locations: An Elephant & Piggie Story time.

Thinkery. Baby Bloomers: Away We Go. Learn about things that take flight. 9 a.m. Saturdays. For birth to age 3. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

“Goodnight Moon” is in its final weekend at Zach Theatre. Kirk Tuck


Zach Theatre presents “Goodnight Moon.” The classic children’s book comes to the stage. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. $18-$24. Kleberg Stage, 1421 Riverside Drive.

The Woodland Faerie Trail is back at Zilker Botanical Garden. Zilker Botanical Garden


Thinkery. Birdhouses. Ages 4 and up. 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. Saturday-Monday. $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Science Mill. Fun with Chemistry. Scavenger Hunt. Become a code-breaking secret agent. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday-Monday Science Mill, 101 Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City.

Woodland Faerie Trail. See fairy houses on this trail. Saturday-Aug. 10. Free with admission. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road.


Thinkery. Early Learners: Color Wonders. Mix colors and make portraits. 9:30 a.m. Monday, age 1, 10:30 a.m. age 2, 11:30 a.m. age 3. $20. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.


What are you going to do this summer in Austin, kids? Check our family calendar for ideas

School is finally almost over. The temperature is on the rise, and soon, a chorus of “I’m bored,” might be heard coming from your house. It’s summer in Austin.

Luckily, it is summer in Austin, which means you can find something to do with the kids every day.

Check out our list and find more at

A-list: Families play on the Long Center Terrace during Bubblepalooza on Saturday, July 16, 2016.
Suzanne Cordeiro For American-Statesman

Only in Austin

Bricks and Blocks Bonanza. We know you love to build things, and the Thinkery lets you do that at various stations all around Legos and Duplos as well as Jenga and more. All ages. 6-9 p.m. June 8. $15-$13. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Bubblepalooza. Who doesn’t love bubbles? This free event is all about making bubbles, plus there’s live music. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 9. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.

Austin Ice Cream Festival. Sure there’s chocolate and vanilla, but we bet there will be bacon flavor, too. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. June 23. $15-$67.50. Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.

Austin Bat Fest. Yes, we love our bats underneath the Anne Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. This festival celebrates everything bat. Congress Avenue Bridge, 100 S. Congress Ave. 4 p.m. to midnight. Aug. 18. $15. Kids 8 and younger Free. You don’t have to wait for the fest to celebrate them. They come out every night around dusk.

Cedar Park Rodeo is coming to the H-E-B Center.


Domain Northside Kids. Come to the lawn at the Domain Northside for activities for kids 18 months to 6 years old. Free. Camped, 10 a.m.-noon June 6. Heroed, 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 1. Reservations required,

Teen Turn Up. Teens ages 11-17 enjoy teen parties all summer long at Austin’s recreation centers. Balling Out. Three on Three basketball, 6-9 p.m. June 22, Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Road. Pool Palooza, 6-9 p.m. July 27, Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar. Road. Back to School Dance, 6-9 p.m. Aug. 24, Givers Recreation Center, 3811 E. 12th St.

Greater Austin Comic Con. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 16 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 17. $24-$49. H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park.

The Original Harlem Globetrotters. Start your whistling now as you get ready to watch the tricks on the court. 7 p.m. July 13. $24.25 and up. H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park.

Cedar Park Rodeo. See the ropers and riders inside an air-conditioned venue. 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17-18. $27-$12. H-E-B Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park.

Marvel Universe Live! Now you can see your favorite action heroes live. 7 p.m. Aug. 23-25, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Aug. 25, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Aug. 26. $25-$90. Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St.

Game play at the Austin Public Library. Whether it’s board games or computer games, join the fun. Día de los Niños Game Day. 2 p.m. June 1, Little Walnut Creek Branch. Free Play Gaming. 3:30 p.m. June 7, July 23, Aug. 6, Carver Branch. Family Board Game Night. 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Central Library. Teen Videogame Free Play. 2 p.m. Fridays, Central Library. Tech Chicos. 9 a.m. June 25-29, Ruiz Branch. Lego Lab. 4 p.m. June 1, July 6, Aug. 3, North Village Branch; 2 p.m. June 6, June 20, July 17, Carver Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. June 12, July 10; Milwood Branch; 3 p.m. June 12, July 10, Aug. 14, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 13, July 18, Aug. 1, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 2 p.m. June 15, July 20, Aug. 17, University Hills Branch; Noon, June 19, July 17, Aug. 21, Ruiz Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 19, July 17, Aug. 21, Pleasant Hill Branch; 3 p.m. June 28, July 27, Aug. 23, Cepeda Branch. Night Builders: Family Lego Lab, 7 p.m. June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Hampton Branch. Master Builders, 1:30 p.m. June 14, 3:30 p.m. Aug. 14, Howson Branch. Arcade Night: An After Hours Family Event. 6 p.m. July 21, University Hills Branch.

Toybrary Austin events. Meet Abby Caddaby. 10:30 a.m. June 12. $12.Superhero Party. 10:30 a.m. June 13. $10. Mermaid Party. 10:30 a.m. June 15. Father’s Day Event. Fix-it Clinic. 10:30 a.m. June 16. Fourth of July Party. 10:30 a.m. July 3. $10. Daniel Tiger visits. 10:30 a.m. July 17. $12. Hello Kitty visits. 10:30 a.m. Aug. 18, $12.Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane.

The Austin Symphony Children’s Art Park is moving from Symphony Square to the Central Library. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


Austin Symphony Hartman Concerts in the Park. 7:30 p.m. Sundays through June 3-Aug. 26 (Except July 8). Free. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.

Austin Symphony Children’s Day Art Park. This year the concerts move from the Symphony Square to the Austin Central Library. A different musician plays each week with a different theme. “Trolls” and April & Amy, June 6; “Martina the Beautiful Cockroach,” All Rhythms Percussion Ensemble, June 20; “Peter and the Wolf,” Austin Symphony Orchestra woodwinds, June 27; “Frogs, Cockroaches and things that go boom!” Austin Symphony Orchestra brass quintet, July 11; “Hansel and Gretel,” Austin Symphony Orchestra woodwind quintet, July 18; “From Robots to Zombies: A Musical Adventure,” Joe McDermott, July 25. 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays. It’s now free! Austin Central Library, 710 W. Cesar Chavez St.

National Geographic’s “Symphony for Our World.” Hear music by the Austin Symphony Orchestra while watching scenes from nature. 8 p.m. July 28. $29-$59. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.

H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert and Fireworks. Hear the symphony and then watch the sky light up. 8:30 p.m. July 4. Free. Vic Mathias Shores.

Hey Lolly Music Sing-Along. 10 a.m. Saturdays, July 7-Aug. 4. $3. Scottish Rite Theatre, 207 W. 18th St.

Gustafer Yellowgold. 11 a.m. July 28. $10-$6. Scottish Rite Theatre, 207 W. 18th St.

Music at the Austin Public Library. The Telephone Company. 11 a.m. June 5, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 7, University Hills Branch; 6 p.m. June 11, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. June 14, Milwood Branch; 2 p.m. June 18, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. June 20, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. July 5, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. July 7, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 27, Yarborough Branch. Music and Movement. 11 a.m. June 4, June 18, 11:30 a.m. July 16, Manchaca Road Branch; 3 p.m. June 6, June 20, July 18, Central Library; 10:15 a.m. Thursdays, Carver Branch; 11 a.m. Thursdays, Howson Branch; 11 a.m. June 11, July 9, Aug. 13, Pleasant Hill Branch; 11 a.m. July 6, Aug. 3, Old Quarry Branch. Jim Gill. 3 p.m. June 10, Central Library. Kupira Marimba. 3 p.m. June 24, Central Library. Echoes of Africa. 6 p.m. June 4, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. June 5, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. June 7, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. June 11, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. June 13, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. June 18, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 3 p.m. June 19, St. John Branch; 11 a.m. June 26, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 27, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. July 5, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 6, Yarborough Branch; 2 p.m. July 11, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. July 12, Milwood Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 17, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. July 19, Dove Springs Recreation Center. The Hoots. 2 p.m. June 6, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. June 14, University Hills Branch. Austin Ukestra. 1 p.m. June 10, July 8, Aug. 12, Recycled Reads Bookstore. Youth Songwriting Workshop. 3;30 p.m. June 15, July 13, Carver Branch. Lloyd H. Miller of the Deedle Deedle Dees. 2 p.m. June 23, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. June 25, Howson Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 26, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. June 29, Terrazas Branch.

Toybrary Austin music events. Music class with Miss Ariel. 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays. $10. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane.

Blanton docent Gary Kattner, right, reads a book for (left to right) Mandy Kutz, and daughter Effie, 3, Cate Bowman, 3, and mother Jillian Bontke Bowman during a children’s event in the Blanton Museum of Art. Julia Robinson/ FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2014


Bullock Museum. The history museum has special programs during the summer in addition to the programs it always runs. Check these out. Free First Sunday events with themed programs: Rodeo, June 3; Stars & Stripes, July 1; Friendship, Aug. 5. Sense-sational Thursdays, explore history with your senses at 10 a.m. on special Thursdays. Little Texans, June 14; Ranches and Rodeos, June 21; Story time, June 28; History Detectives, July 5; Little Texans, July 12 and Aug. 9; Story time, July 26. Make it Tuesdays create art. Round ‘em Up, June 12 and Aug. 7; Piecing History Together, June 19; Paint, June 26; Red, White and Yum, July 3; Comic Book Art Party, July 10; Artful Writing, July 17; Summer Window Clings, July 24; Mini Art, July 31; Daniel G. Benes Science Shows, Aug. 2. Workshop: Rodeo Leather Craft. Try it out for yourself. Noon, June 9. World Refugee Day, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. June 16. Yippee Yay! The rodeo exhibit comes to life with trick roping. 2 p.m. June 3, July 7, July 28, Aug. 4, Aug. 18. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

Blanton Museum. Each summer, the Blanton brings creative programs for different age groups that have you learning about art as well as making it: 3ft Deep for ages 3-5, 10 a.m. Tuesdays June 12-July 24; Artists and Authors, for ages 5-7, 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Thursdays, June 14-July 26; Deeper Dives for ages 8-10, 10 a.m. Fridays, June 15-July 27; Free Diving for ages 11-14, 1 p.m. Fridays, June 15-July 27. Plus you can make art in the WorkLab, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays, June 13-27, and July 11-25. Blanton Museum. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Contemporary Austin. Families Create: For the Birds, June 9; Fanta-Sea Creatures, July 14; and Ice Painting, Aug. 11. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St.

Thinkery. Baby Bloomers for children younger than 3. 9 a.m. Monday and Saturdays. Each month has a theme, and every week there are special performances. In June, it’s all about what’s Under the Sea. $5. Instant Ice Cream workshop, for ages 4 and up. 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. June 2-3, 16-17, 30-July 1. The July and August workshops haven’t been announced yet. Parents’ Night Out, 5:30-10 p.m. July 13 and Aug. 3. Kids must be 4 or older and potty-trained. $45 first child, $25 each additional sibling. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Hill Country Science Mill. In June, kids ages 8 and older can learn to turn Trash to Treasure and make art with artist McKay Otto. 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. June 2. Free, but reserve your spot at programs@sciencemill.orgSolar Art. Make art using the sun. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 8. Cyanotype Making. Use the sun and water to dye fabric. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 16. Shark Week. Celebrate all things shark with movies, a fossil dig for teeth and more. July 25-July 29. Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. Family Day10-4 p.m. June 10, Entangled; July 8, Happy Birthday, Charles Umlauf; and Aug. 12, Remembering LBJ. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 605 Robert E. Lee Road.

George Washington Carver Museum. First Saturdays at the Carver Museum. Noon-4 p.m. June 2, July 7. Let It Ring Juneteenth Celebration. Noon-4 p.m. June 16. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St.

The Williamson Museum. Midsommer Festival. Celebrate Swedish heritage. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 23. Free. 8 Chisholm Trail, Round Rock. Hands on History. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 14, Aug. 11. 716 S. Austin Ave.

NASA shows astronaut Clayton Anderson has written an alphabet book about space. He’ll be at BookPeople this summer. NASA 2010


African American Book Festival. Explore new works for all ages. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 23. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St.

Book People events. Jennifer Donaldson reads “Lies You Never Told Me,” 6 p.m. June 2. Stephanie Garber reads “Legendary,” 6 p.m. June 9. Space Party with Astronaut Clayton Anderson. Anderson reads his “A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet.” 4 p.m. June 13. Carrie Fountain reads “I’m Not Missing,” 7 p.m. July 12. 10:30 a.m. story times every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Topics include Zumbini, June 2; Proud to Be Me, June 5; Milly McSilly, June 6; Ramadan, June 9; Heartsong Music, June 12; Ms. Staci, June 13; Father’s Day, June 16; Armstrong Community Music School; June 19; Tiny Tails Petting Zoo, June 20; Barking Book Buddies, June 26; Fourth of July with author Stephanie Ledyard, June 27, “Pete the Kitty,” June 30. Check the website for additional events and story times throughout the summer. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

Barnes & Noble story times. Each Saturday all Barnes & Noble locatioons offer 11 a.m. story times. In June, find “Oh the Places You Will Go,” June 2. “Incredibles 2: Sweet Dreams, Jack-Jack,” June 9; Father’s Day, June 16; “Jurassic Park,” June 23; “Pete the Kitty,” June 30.

Book events at the Austin Public Library. Día de los Niños Celebration. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 2, Central Library. Ice Cream Social. 1 p.m. June 2, Howson Branch. Dog Man, create comics, 3:30 p.m. June 6, North Village Branch; 2 p.m. June 15, Yarborough Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, Pleasant Hill Branch; 6 p.m. July 2, Carver Branch; 6 p.m. July 10, Twin Oaks Branch. “Princess in Black” Party. 2 p.m. June 4, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. June 13, Ruiz Branch. 3:30 p.m. June 19, Old Quarry Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 20, North Village Branch; 2 p.m. July 5, Dove Springs Recreation Center; 11 a.m. July 17, Twin Oaks Branch. Pajama story time. 6 p.m. Mondays in June and July, University Hills Branch; 6:30 p.m. Mondays in June and July, Central Library; 6 p.m. June 5, July 3, Aug. 7, Yarborough Branch; 6 p.m. June 26, July 24, Old Quarry Branch; 6 p.m. June 28, North Village Branch; 6 p.m. June 28, Spicewood Springs Branch; 6 p.m. July 31, Milwood Branch. Camp Bluebonnet. Read the recommended books for grades 3-6. 2:30 p.m. Mondays in June, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. Tuesdays in June, Howson Branch; 1 p.m. Tuesdays in July, Pleasant Hill Branch; 11 a.m. Wednesdays in July 11-Aug.8, Spicewood Springs Branch. NBTween Book Club. “Nerd Camp,” 4 p.m. June 13, Howson Branch. “Frogkisser!” 6 p.m. June 20, Hampton Branch. “Eleven and Holding,” 6 p.m. June 21, Spicewood Springs Branch. “The Harlem Charade,” 6 p.m. June 21, Twin Oaks Branch; “Garvey’s Choice,” 4 p.m. July 11, Howson Branch; “The Bicycle Spy,” 6 p.m. Hampton Branch; “Ghost,” 6 p.m. July 19, Spicewood Springs Branch; “Hereville,” 6 p.m. July 19, Twin Oaks Branch; “The Night Diary,” 4 p.m. Aug. 8, Howson Branch; “Sisters,” 6 p.m. Aug. 15, Hampton Branch. “Ms. Bixby’s Last Day,” 6 p.m. Aug. 16, Spicewood Springs Branch. Teen Writing Club. 2 p.m. Thursdays, June 14-July 12, Central Library. Teen Book Club. “Saints and Misfits,” 6:30 p.m. June 19, Howson Branch; “Uglies,” 6:30 p.m. July 17, Howson Branch; 10:30 a.m. June 22, July 6, July 20, Aug. 3, Cepeda Branch.

Toybrary book event. “Penguin & Shrimp” story time. 10:30 a.m. June 22. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane.

The Austin Humane Society will offer Teddy Bear Surgery again this summer. Austin Humane Society

Animals and nature

RED Arena Round-Up. Family fun and inclusive rodeo play day with a petting zoo, kid games and mini horses. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 2. Free. Dripping Springs Ranch Park, 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs.

Ask a Vet. Bring your questions to hear from Thundering Paws veterinarian Lauren Cannon. 11:30 a.m. June 2, Barnes & Noble Sunset Valley, 5601 Brodie Lane.

The Austin Humane Society Summer Kids Series! The Austin Humane Society offers events throughout the summer for children. Story times for children 8 and younger: 10 a.m. June 5, July 10, Aug. 7. Tail talks animal question session for children 8 and older: 2 p.m. June 5, 1 p.m. June 19, 2 p.m. July 10, 2 p.m. July 24, 2 p.m. Aug. 7. Teddy Bear Surgery, 1 p.m. June 9, July 7, Aug. 11. Austin Wildlife Rescue: All about Wildlife for children 8 and younger: 10 a.m. June 12, July 17, Aug. 14. Outdoor Movie Night: 7:30 p.m. June 14, July 12. Humane Hero Hour for children 8 and younger: 10 a.m. June 19, July 24. Art workshops for children 8 and younger: 10 a.m. June 26, July 31. Free, but you must register,, 512-646-7387. Austin Humane Society, 124 W. Anderson Lane.

Wildflower Center. Nature Nights at 6 9 p.m. on Thursdays each have a theme: Outdoor Recreation, June 7; Fantastic Creatures & Where to Find Them, June 14; Bats, June 21; Water, June 28. Free. You also can find hands-on programs for preschoolers through its Sprouts program, 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and during the Nature Play Hour, 10 a.m. Saturdays. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.

Zilker Botanical Garden opens its Woodland Faerie Trail today through Aug. 10. The trail is full of homes people have created for the fairies. Maybe you’ll see a fairy. Reserve your spot online at and on Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road.

Animals at the Austin Public Library. Welcome to Jurassic World for teens. 1 p.m. June 4, Central Library. Visit with a Park Ranger, 2 p.m. June 8, Yarborough Branch, 3:30 p.m. June 12, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. June 25, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 2, Pleasant Hill Branch. Crowe’s Nest Farm, 2 p.m. June 9, Manchaca Road Branch; 3 p.m. June 12, St. John’s Branch; 2 p.m. June 14, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. June 15, Terrazas Branch; 2 p.m. June 21, Milwood Branch; 6 p.m. June 25, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, University Hills Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 10, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. July 23, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 25, Ruiz Branch. Dinosaur George, 3 p.m. June 3, Central Library.

Toybrary Repitle Show. 10:30 a.m. June 2. $12. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane.

Zilker Summer Musical returns to the hillside with an Elvis-themed show “All Shook Up.”


Zilker Summer Musical “All Shook Up.” Zilker Summer Musical returns with the music of Elvis. 8:15 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays July 7-Aug. 18. Free, but donations welcome. Zilker Hillside Theatre, 2206 William Barton Drive.

Pollyanna Theatre Company’s “If Wishes Were Fishes.” 2 p.m. June 23-24, and 2 p.m. June 30-July 1. $10.50-$13.50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. At the library: 2 p.m. July 11, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. July 19, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. July 23, Howson Branch; 11 a.m. July 24, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. July 26, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 28, Manchaca Road Branch.

Summer Stock Austin “The Music Man.” July 20-Aug. 11. Prices and specific times and dates of shows TBA. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.

Summer Stock Austin “Rob1n.” This modern retelling of the Robin Hood tale puts a girl in the starring role in this musical by Allen Robertson and Damon Brown. July 24-Aug 11. Prices and specific times and dates of shows TBA.

The Little Mermaid. 8:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays June 1-30, 8:15 p.m. July 1. $10. EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, 1101 FM 2325, Wimberley.

Robin Hood. The children’s version of the classic story. 10 a.m. July 14, 21, 28. 2 p.m. July 15, 22, 29. $10-$8. EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, 1101 FM 2325,

Spoonful of Sugar Improv for Families with Hideout Theatre. 11 a.m. June 3, 9, 16-17, 23-24, 30, July 1. $12-$8. “Too Many Stories!” 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, June 13-Aug. 1. $6. Scottish Rite Theatre, 207 W. 18th St.

“Beauty and the Beast.” The Disney movie comes to the stage. 7:30 p.m. July 11-Sept. 2. $25-$150. Zach Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd.

Literature Live Presents “King Midas.” 2 p.m. June 4, Spicewood Springs Branch; 3 p.m. June 5, St. John Branch; 2 p.m. June 6, Hampton Branch; 2 p.m. June 8, Terrazas Branch; 2 p.m. June 12, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. June 14, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 3 p.m. June 17, Central Library; 11 a.m. June 19, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 21, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. June 27, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. June 30, Manachaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 2, Howson Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 3, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. July 5, Milwood Branch; 3 p.m. July 7, Recycled Reads Bookstore; 6 p.m. July 9, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. July 11, Ruiz Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 18, North Village Branch; 2 p.m. July 19, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 20, Yarborough Branch. “Puppets, Puppets, Everywhere!” 2 p.m. June 7, Milwood Branch; 3 p.m. June 26, St. John Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 2 p.m. July 10, Cepeda Branch.

Sandbank Shadow Factory Presents: “The Legend of Walter Weirdbeard.” 3:30 p.m. June 5, Old Quarry Branch; 2 p.m. June 6, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. June 14, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. June 21, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. June 22, Yarborough Branch; 2 p.m. June 26, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. June 28, Milwood Branch; 2 p.m. July 2, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 14, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 18, Hampton

Magik Theatre Presents: “The Three Little Pigs.” 2 p.m. June 13, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. June 16, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. June 27, Hampton Branch; 11 a.m. July 3, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. July 9, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 19, Milwood Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 24, Old Quarry Branch.

Other performances at the library: Terence Taps. 2 p.m. June 11, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. June 20, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 2 p.m. July 12, University Hills Branch; 2 p.m. July 16, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 26, Milwood Branch. Magician John O’Bryant. 2 p.m. June 22, Terrazas Branch; 2 p.m. July 16, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. July 21, Manchaca Road Branch; 2 p.m. July 25, Hampton branch; 2 p.m. July 26, Old Quarry Branch.

Wildstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), Emmet (Chris Pratt) and Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) are three of the key characters in “The Lego Movie.” It will be showing at kids movie events around town. Credit: Warner Bros.


Sound & Cinema. Watch a classic movie with a soundtrack by a local band. The movie titles have not been released yet, but some will be family-appropriate, some won’t be. Free. 6 p.m. July 11, July 25, Aug. 1, Aug. 15. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive.

Paramount Summer Movie Classics. Show your kids all the great films you or your parents grew up on. “The Wizard of Oz,” 1 p.m. June 3; “Back to the Future” 3:15 p.m. June 3; “Labrinth” 7 p.m. June 5; “The Princess Bride” 1 p.m. June 17; “The Little Mermaid” 1 p.m. June 24; “Mary Poppins” 1 p.m. July 1; “Annie” 1 p.m. July 22; “Superman.” 1 p.m. July 29; “The Nightmare Before Christmas” 1 p.m. Aug. 5; “Grease” 1 p.m. Aug. 11; “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” 1 p.m. Aug. 19; $6-$12. Paramount Theater, 713 Congress Ave.

Alamo Drafthouse Kids Club. “How to Train Your Dragon,” 10 a.m. June 1-7, Lakeline. 10 a.m. June 25-26, 10:15 a.m. June 27-28, Slaughter Lane. 10:30 a.m. June 25-21, Mueller. “Trolls,” 10 a.m. June 8, June 10-14, 11:30 a.m. June 9, Lakeline. 10:05 a.m. June 18, 10:20 a.m. June 19, 10:10 a.m. June 20-21, Slaughter Lane. 10:30 a.m. June 25-28, Mueller. “The Neverending Story,” 10:30 a.m. June 8, June 11-14, Mueller. 10 a.m. June 18-21, Lakeline. 10:15 a.m. June 1, June 3-7, Slaughter Lane. “The Lego Movie,” 10:30 a.m. June 1-6, Mueller. 10:25 a.m. June 8, 10:10 a.m. June 9, June 10, June 12-13, 10 a.m. June 11, 10:15 a.m. June 14, Slaughter Lane. 10 a.m. June 25-28, Lakeline. “The Land Before Time,” 10 a.m. June 29-July 5, Lakeline. “Sing,” 10:30 a.m. June 29-July 5, Mueller. Coming in July: “The Muppets Take Manhattan,” “The Land Before Time,” and “Monsters vs. Aliens.” In August: “The Prince of Egypt,” “King Fu Panda,” and “Despicable Me.” Special sensory-friendly viewings: “How to Train Your Dragon,” 10 a.m. June 5, Lakeline; “Trolls,” 10 a.m. June 12, Lakeline; “The Lego Movie,” 10 a.m. June 26, Lakeline; “The Land Before Time,” 10 a.m. July 3, Lakeline. “Incredibles 2” Family Party, 9 a.m. June 17, Lakeline. 9:15 a.m. June 17, Mueller. 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. June 16, Slaughter Lane.

Movies in the Park. Roll out the blanket and enjoy a free movie. “How to Train Your Dragon,” 9 p.m. June 21. Patterson Park. “10 Things I Hate About You” 8:30 p.m. Aug. 16, Martin Multipurpose Fields.

Flix Jr. Flix offers $2 children’s movies at 11 a.m. Wednesdays. “How to Train Your Dragon,” June 6. “The Iron Giant,” June 13. “The Secret Life of Pets,” June 20. “The Land Before Time,” June 27. Look for the July and August schedules online. 2200 S. Interstate 35, Suite B1, Round Rock.

Regal Summer Movie Express. 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Westgate Stadium 11 and Gateway Stadium 16. and “ “The Iron Giant,” and “Curious George,” June 5-6; “Despicable Me” and “Ice Age: Collision Course,” June 12-13; “Storks” and “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” June 19-20; “Despicable Me 2” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” June 26-27; “The Lego Movie” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” July 3-July 4; “Sing” and “The Peanuts Movie,” July 10-11; “The Lego Ninjago Movie” and “Ferdinand,” July 17-18; “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” July 24-25; “The Lego Batman Movie” and “Trolls,” July 31 and Aug. 1. Tickets are $1.

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse. Offers $1 movies 10 a.m. Monday through Thursdays at Round Rock 8. “Boss Baby,” June 4-7; “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” June 11-14; “The Lego Ninjago Movie,” June 18-21; “Storks,” June 25-28; “The Nut Job 2,” July 2-5; “My Little Pony,” July 9-12; “Ferdinand,” July 16-19; “Paddington 2,” July 23-26; “Captain Underpants,” July 30-Aug. 2; “The Emoji Movie,” Aug. 6-9. .

The Bullock Museum is offering its Summer Free Family Film Series: “The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh” 2 p.m. June 23; “The Land Before Time” 2 p.m. July 14; “Toy Story” 2 p.m. Aug. 11.Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave.

That’s My Face, Youth and Young Adult Film Series. “A Strike and An Uprising (In Texas,)” 6:30 p.m. June 8. “Taking Israel: A Journey of African American Students,” 6:30 p.m. July 13. “The Mask You Live In,” 6:30 p.m. Aug. 10. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St.

Austin Public Library screenings. Look for these movies to be shown at your local library. “Thor Ragnarok,” 2 p.m. June 2, University Hills Branch; “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” 5 p.m. June 4, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” 5 p.m. June 11, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; “Grease” singalong: 1:30 p.m. June 4, Old Quarry Branch; “Trolls,” 2 p.m. June 16, Twin Oaks Branch; “Coco,” 2 p.m. June 19, Ruiz Branch; “House Party,” 6:30 p.m. June 20, Carver Branch; “Captain Underpants,” 3:30 p.m. June 22, Old Quarry Branch; “Peter Rabbit,” 3:30 p.m. June 29, Carver Branch: “Black Panther,” 2 p.m. June 30, University Hills Branch, 3:30 p.m. July 20, Carver Branch; “Rock Dog,” 2 p.m. Aug. 9, Old Quarry Branch; “My Little Pony: The Movie,” 3:30 p.m. Aug. 17, Carver Branch.

Create art at the Austin Public Library with events like Crafternoon. American-Statesman


Art at the Austin Public Library. In addition to creating art in museums, check out these art-creating events. Art Smart Día de Los Niños, 10:30 a.m. June 1, Central Library. Art Smart “We Read” Community Mural Project. 2 p.m. July 23, 30, Aug. 6, Aug. 13, Little Walnut Creek Branch; 4 p.m. July 24, 31, Aug. 7, Aug. 14, University Hills Branch; 1 p.m. July 25, Aug. 1, Aug. 8, Aug. 15, Carver Branch; 1 p.m. July 27, Aug. 3, Aug. 10, Aug. 17, Pleasant Hill Branch. Crafternoon. 3 p.m. Mondays in June, Dove Springs Recreation Center; 11 a.m. June 9, University Hills Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 13, July 18, Aug. 22, Carver Branch; 3 p.m. June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 20, July 11, Cepeda Branch; 3:30 p.m. June 26, July 24, Aug. 28, Howson Branch. Sew U for teens. 3 p.m. June 5, June 19, July 3, Central Library. Feltastic and Filmazing. “Ferdinand.” 2 p.m. June 9, Howson Branch. “Trolls,” 2 p.m. June 16, Twin Oaks Branch. “Coco,” 2 p.m. June 19, Ruiz Branch; 2 p.m. June 5, Carver Branch; 2 p.m. July 17, University Hills Branch; 6:30 p.m. July 26, Central Library. “The Emoji Movie,” 2 p.m. July 6, Spicewood Springs Branch; 2 p.m. July 12, Carver Branch. You Are the Artist for ages 5-10. 11 a.m. June 12, Twin Oaks Branch; 2 p.m. June 21, Dove Springs Recreation Center; 2 p.m. June 21, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 2 p.m. July 3, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. July 12, Pleasant Hill Branch; 2 p.m. July 18, Ruiz Branch; 3:30 p.m. July 25, North Village Branch. The Contemporary Austin Presents Art Story time. 11 a.m. June 13, Old Quarry Branch; 11 a.m. June 14, Milwood Branch; 11 a.m. June 16, Pleasant Hill Branch; 11 a.m. June 27, Willie Mae Kirk Branch; 6 p.m. July 2, University Hills Branch; 10:15 a.m. July 3, Carver Branch; 11 a.m. July 12, North Village Branch; 11 a.m. July 30, Hampton Branch.


Science at the Austin Public Library. Tween Steam: Stop Motion Animation. 2 p.m. June 12, Ruiz Branch, 2 p.m. June 15, Little Walnut Creek Branch, 4 p.m. June 26, University Hills Branch, 2 p.m. Carver Branch, July 19; Wire Wearables, 4 p.m. June 12, University Hills, 2 p.m. June 13, Pleasant Hill Branch; Rita Want Artist in Residence Series, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, June 14-July 5 Central Library; Paper Circuits, 2 p.m. June 21, Carver Branch, 2 p.m. June 22, North Village Branch, 2 p.m. July 7, Twin Oaks Branch, 2 p.m. July 10, Ruiz Branch; LittleBits Theme Park, 4 p.m. June 10, University Hills Branch, 2 p.m. July 20, Howson Branch. Spy Camp. 2 p.m. June 19, Cepeda Branch; 2 p.m. July 9, Howson Branch; 2 p.m. July 26, Pleasant Hill Branch.

Get inspired by the royal wedding with these fun kids activities this weekend in Austin, May 18-20

While you watch the royal wedding on TV , your kids can be enjoying a story time all about a “Wedding of the Century.” And while proud parents will be celebrating graduation at the University of Texas, you can give your kids a love of education at the Summer Reading Splash!

These are just some of the events happening this weekend. Look for a great weekend with highs in the low 90s, and only some rain on Sunday morning.

“Fancy Nancy and the Wedding of the Century” will be read at Barnes & Noble.

The 2018 Summer Reading Splash! Authors including Newbery winner Kate DiCamillo and Bluebonnet winner Max Brallier will be in attendance. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Free. Austin Independent School District Performing Arts Center, 1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd.

BookPeople events: Cat Berry: “Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime!” 2 p.m. Sunday. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

Tweens Night Out at Color Me Mine! Play games, paint and have pizza. $35. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. Color Me Mine! 13500 Galleria Circle, U-110, Bee Cave.

Parkapalooza. Live music, kids activities. Free. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Easton Park, 7000 Cardinal Bloom Loop.

Thinkery. Baby Bloomers: Away We Go. Learn about things that take flight. 9 a.m. Saturday. For birth to age 3. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Thinkery. Soap Making. Ages 4 and older. 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Zach Theatre presents “Goodnight Moon.” The classic children’s book comes to the stage. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through May 27. $18-$24. Kleberg Stage, 1421 Riverside Drive.

Pollyanna Theatre. “The Secret of Soap & Spin.” 10-year-old Vic finds magic in the laundromat as his mother goes missing. For grades second through fifth. 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $10.50-$12. Long Center, 701 Riverside Drive.

Barnes & Noble 11 a.m. Saturdays, story times at all locations: “Fancy Nancy and the Wedding of the Century.”

Kids Create: Make Art Like Alma Thomas. 2:30 p.m. Friday, Yarborough Branch.

Summer Camp Resource Fair. 1 p.m. Saturday, Carver Branch.

El día de los niños/El día de los libros Celebration. 11 a.m. Saturday, Pleasant Hill Branch.

Teen Harry Potter Club. 2 p.m. Sunday, Central Library.

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” began the book and movie series.


What’s the best sunscreen? We put more than 20 to the test

Last year, I put 16 mosquito repellents to the test, and found some definite winners — and some losers.

This year, I grabbed 21 sunscreens of various types and tested them. I have very fair skin (ghostlike, my family says) and burn easily. I tried the sunscreens while gardening, while going for a long hike in the middle of Austin in the heat of the day (don’t try this at home) and while swimming at the pool.

Know which sunscreens work best and what to look for in a sunscreen. AMANDA VOISARD / AMERICAN-STATESMAN photos

I also rotated which area of the body each one covered to make sure that each sunscreen got an opportunity to be on both the upper body and lower body, except the ones that were made especially for the face. I tried ones that sprayed on, foamed on, slathered on and apply like deodorant. Some were all natural, some had chemicals by the dozen; some were sunblock rather than sunscreen. They had SPF (sun protection factor) of 21 to 100. Was there a difference?

The good news: All of them were better than nothing at all. The patches of skin left bare definitely reddened.

[cmg_anvato video=”4394829″ autoplay=”true”]

See how we rated them:


Badger Baby Chamomile & Calendula

Type: Very thick cream

Price: $11.48 with $2 off coupon

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Zinc oxide, plus sunflower seed oil, beeswax, chamomile, calendula extract, seabuckthorn fruit extract. The tube says it is non-GMO, biodegradable, 98 percent organic, 100 percent certified natural.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 40 minutes

Scent: Light floral scent

Does it work? Yes. Badger baby was one of the best-performing. It was definitely water-resistant and sweat-proof. It was one of the few spots where there was no coloration of the skin, except the white residue left by the cream. The cream was a bit hard to spread because of its thickness. We could definitely tell where we put it. The scent was OK, but with all those floral ingredients, we expected it to smell better.

Would we use it again? Yes, especially on someone who is fair-skinned or a baby.

Banana Boat Simply Protect Baby

Type: Mineral-based lotion

Price: $7.92

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50+

Ingredients: Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide. The tube says there are no oxybenzone or parabens, no added oils or fragrances, but there are plenty of glycerides and other chemicals listed in the inactive ingredients.

Water resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Light sunscreen scent.

Does it work? Yes. It was definitely sweat-proof and water-resistant, but it does not rub in or remove easily with soap and water. Days later, my back is still white from where this sunscreen is lingering. It also was not as thick as some sunscreens so it got everywhere, including my car seat.

Would we use it again? Maybe. The great thing is it really works, but with it getting everywhere and being hard to get out, we’re a bit hesitant.

Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple Whipped

Type: Mousse-like whipped sunscreen

Price: $9.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus various alcohols, acids and other chemicals. The bottle also says it is free of fragrances, parabens, oils, dyes and PABA.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Very light sunscreen smell

Does it work? It definitely let some reddening of the skin happen. It also was not sweat-proof at all, and we didn’t experience any water-resistance qualities.

Would we use it again? Probably not. We loved the concept of the whipped sunscreen, but it was incredibly hard to unlock the cap and press down on the top to squirt out the mousse. It also got all over clothes, but it did rub in better than some of the other baby lotion.



H-E-B Solutions Kids

Type: Lotion spray that sprays white for no missed spots

Price: $6.75

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus a lot of other chemicals as inactive ingredients. The bottle says it is hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Light sunscreen scent

Does it work? Not well. This spray was goopy and gross, which made it hard to spray on hard-to-reach areas. It got everywhere. It also did not protect from pigment changes. In fact, each time, the area where we used this spray was one of the most burned areas. It was definitely sweat-proof, but not as effective on water-resistance after a trip to the pool.

Would we use it again? A big no.

Alba Botanica Kids Sunscreen tropical fruit

Type: Cream

Price: $5.99 with $2 off coupon

SPF: Broad Spectrum SPF 45

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octocrylene, octyl salicylate, plus natural oils and extracts, as well as oils. The tube also says it is tear-free, gluten-free, biodegradable, with no oxybenzone, octinoxate or animal testing, and with natural fragrances.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Very light scent, not fruity.

Does it work? There was definitely some color change, but not as bad as with others. It was easy to apply, rubbed in nicely and didn’t leave that white residue. It did fine with handling sweat. It wasn’t particularly water-resistent, but it also didn’t come off in the pool, either.

Would we use it again? Yes, because it was so easy to apply, but it’s not the most effective one we tried.


Banana Boat Sport sunscreen stick

Type: Sunscreen stick with Powerstay Technology

Price: $7.92

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50+

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, plus some other chemicals and cocoa butter.

Water-resistant: Water and sweat up to 80 minutes

Scent: Very light.

Does it work? We did have some skin color change, but not a lot. It was some of the most water-resistant and sweat-resistant of the group. It was easy to use and didn’t feel tacky at all. In fact, you could hardly tell you had it on.

Would we use it again? For ease of use, yes, but we would go over the area a couple of times. Also, it’s unclear how much of the body you could cover before you would run out.

Neutrogena CoolDry Sport sunscreen stick

Type: Sunscreen Stick with Micromesh

Price: $9.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50+

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, also some beeswax, plus parafin and chemicals.

Water-resistant: Water and sweat-resistance up to 80 minutes

Scent: Strong scent that’s nice, but might be overpowering on the whole body

Does it work? No. This area had some of the most color change. It did have some excellent water-resistance, but wasn’t particularly sweat-proof. It also was tacky to the touch and hard to see where it went on.

Would we use it again? No. We love the idea of a sunscreen stick for ease of use, but it didn’t work as well as the Banana Boat version.

No-Ad Suncare 30 Sport

Type: Sunscreen

Price: $6.97 with a $2 coupon

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, oxybenzone, plus some alcohol, glycerin and a lot less other inactive ingredients than most. It says it is paraben-free, fragrance-free and oil-free.

Water-resistant: Water and sweat-resistance up to 80 minutes.

Scent: It has a heavy sunscreen scent.

Does it work? Yes. We did not notice a color change any time we used it. It stayed on with sweat and water, though it wasn’t noticeably water-resistant.

Would we use it again? Maybe. It worked, but was cold when it went on and slightly greasy. The smell was like wearing a walking billboard for sunscreen.

Neutrogena CoolDry Sport sunscreen spray

Type: Spray

Price: $10.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 70

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus some other chemicals.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes, plus it says it “stays on through sweat”

Scent: It smells like a French perfume in a good way.

Does it work? We saw some color change. It was the easiest spray to use, though. When you do use it, get ready to jump. It’s really, really cold when it touches the skin. It also was a little greasy. We didn’t notice any particularly great water-resistance or sweat-resistance.

Would we use it again? Probably not. We wanted it to work better as a sunscreen. It was the easiest to use spray, though.

Goddess Garden Organics Sport

Type: Cream

Price: $12.98

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, with some shea butter, coconut oil, safflower seed oil and sunflower oil. It calls itself a “natural sunscreen” with organic ingrediants, and says it has no chemical sunscreen.

Water-resistant: Yes, for 80 minutes.

Scent: I thought it was smelly; my husband thought it smelled good.

Does it work? Yes, there definitely was no skin color change with this sunscreen. It definitely had water-proofing and sweat-proofing abilities.

Would we use it again?Probably not. It was definitely one of the best sunscreens as far as efficacy, but it left a white residue and was smelly. It also never fully rubbed into the skin and left its mark on the seat of the car.

Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Ultra Light

Type: Cream lotion

Price: $7.92

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Avobenzone, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus fruit and flower extracts, shea butter, mango seed butter, paraffin, alcohol and chemicals. It says it is oil-free and breathable, non-greasy and won’t clog pours.

Water-resistant: Water- and sweat-resistant for 80 minutes.

Scent: Smells nice, though sunscreeny.

Does it work? Somewhat. There was definitely a color change, but it wasn’t particularly bad. It definitely had water-resistance properties.

Would we use it again? Maybe. It was some of the nicest feeling of the creams and rubbed in well. It left the skin with a cool feeling and wasn’t sticky. It’s performance was a bit disappointing.

Regular adult sunscreen

H-E-B Solutions Sunscreen Ultra Protection

Type: Clear spray

Price: $8

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 100

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus some oils, flower extracts, and some chemicals.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Stinky sunscreen smell.

Does it work? No. Despite it being SPF 100, when we used it, the area had some of definite color change. This was also the only area where the burn actually hurt. It wasn’t particularly sweat-proof or water-resistant.

Would we use it again? No. It didn’t work, plus it was very oily and runny and hard to put on. It left the skin oily.

Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Protection

Type: Cream lotion

Price: $8.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 70

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus water, alcohol, and more chemicals. It says it is oil-free and PABA-free.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Nice, light scent.

Does it work? It worked better than some of the others, but there was still some color change. It wasn’t particularly water-resistant or sweat-proof. It felt good, but made the skin look oily.

Would we use it again? Yes, but there are better sunscreens out there.

SunBum premium moisturizing sunscreen spray

Type: Light-mist spray

Price: $15.99

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, plus a few other inactive ingredients including vitamin E-enriched. It says it is paraben-free, oil-free, PBA-free, hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, oxybenzone-free, non-comedogenic and retinyl palmitate-free.

Water-resistant: Yes, to 80 minutes.

Scent: Smells like sunscreen.

Does it work? Yes, it provided some of the least amount of skin color change. It didn’t have particularly noticeable water-resistance, and it wasn’t sweat-proof. The mist made it difficult to see if it was covering, but the sticky residue left behind helped us figure that out.

Would we use it again? Yes, but the price was a bit prohibitive. Also we could have done without the stickiness.

Hawaiian Tropic Anti-oxidant sunscreen lotion

Type: Moisturizing lotion

Price: $7.92

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene and some alcohol and oils, flower and fruit extracts, plus green tea extract. It promises to help prevent skin damage and skin aging from the sun.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Nice fruity, floral, coconut scent.

Does it work? Yes, we didn’t see much color change. It out-performed some of higher SPF sunscreens.

Would we use it again? Yes, it rubbed in well, wasn’t greasy, smelled great, and left a nice cool feeling.

SunBum premium moisturizing sunscreen lotion

Type: Moisturizing lotion

Price: $14.99

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, plus a few other inactive ingredients including vitamin E-enriched. It says it is paraben-free, oil-free, PBA-free, hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, oxybenzone-free, non-comedogenic and retinyl palmitate-free.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Nice light coconut scent

Does it work? There was a noticeable color change. It wasn’t particularly water-resistant or sweat-proof.

Would we use it again? No. It was very watery, yet it didn’t rub in very well and went everywhere. It left a glistening residue.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost water gel lotion sunscreen

Type: Water gel lotion

Price: $10.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 50

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus water, glycerin, alcohol, and more.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes

Scent: Light, delightful floral scent.

Does it work? Yes, there was some color change, but not a lot. It had definite water-resistance.

Would we use it again? Yes, but note that it is blue in color, which is a bit odd, and it says it’s not greasy, but we found it to be a bit greasy. It was easy to spread and rub in.

Aveeno Active Naturals Protect + Hydrate lotion sunscreen

Type: Lotion

Price: $9.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 70

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus water, glycerin, alcohol, beeswax, oat kernel flour and extract and oat protein.

Water-resistant: Sweat- and water-resistant up to 80 minutes

Scent: Nice floral scent.

Does it work? Not really. For SPF 70, we would have expected less color change. It also wasn’t particularly water-resistant or sweat-resistant.

Would we use it again? No. It was hard to spread around and didn’t rub in.

Bullfrog Mosquito Coast Sunscreen + Insect Repellent

Type: Spray with insect repellent for up to eight hours without bites

Price: $6.48 with $2 coupon

SPF: SPF 30, the only one that didn’t say “broad spectrum”

Ingredients: Octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone for sunscreen; butyl, acetylamino propionic acid ethyl ester for repellent; plus aloe and vitamin E.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes.

Scent: Very chemically smelling.

Does it work? No, each time we used it, we saw noticeable skin color change.

Would we use it again? No, not only did it not work, but it was smelly, oily and left the the skin at first tingly and then itchy. It also was not sweat-proof at all.


Neutrogena Clear Face Break-out free liquid lotion sunscreen

Type: Liquid lotion for the face

Price: $8.97

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 30

Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, plus water, silica, bark extract and more.

Water-resistant: Yes, up to 80 minutes.

Scent: Neutral smell.

Does it work? Not really. This area of the face was the most burned area of the body. It also was very liquidy and left the skin feeling really tight.

Would we use it again? Nope. It didn’t do the job, plus pimples followed.

CoverGirl CG Smoothers BB Cream

Type: Tinted moisturizer and sunscreen

Price: $7.09

SPF: Broad spectrum SPF 21

Ingredients: Octinoxate and zinc oxide

Water-resistant: No

Scent: None.

Does it work? Not really. We still had reddening of the skin. We also sweated right through it.

Would we use it again? Yes, as a foundation; no as the only sunscreen.

Take aways

  • You can’t judge a sunscreen by the SPF number. One of the worst was SPF 100. Some of the best was SPF 30.
  • The sprays were less effective then the creams that you spread on or the sticks that you press on.
  • It’s true that those with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are considered sunblocks rather than sunscreens, worked the best. You just have to be willing to put up with white tinting of the skin and that it doesn’t always rub in.
  • Just because it says water-resistant and sweat-resistant doesn’t mean that’s true.
  • Even the most “natural” sunscreens have some unpronounceable ingredients on the back.
  • There are really only about seven different sunscreen active ingredients. It’s about how they are stabilized and how they are delivered to your body.
  • Any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen.

Sunscreen tips

  • Sun damage is cumulative, and it matters how many burns you had as a child and young adult when it comes to skin cancer later in life.
  • A tan is sun damage.
  • You need sunscreen every day, especially on your face, neck and upper chest, which are regularly exposed.
  • Try to avoid going out in the heat of the day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Even if it’s a cloudy day, you can get burned. The clouds only block about 20 percent of the sun’s UV rays.
  • Apply sunscreen on 30 minutes before you go outside.
  • Most sunscreen should not be applied to wet skin unless the label says it can be.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours.
  • If you’re in water, reapply sunscreen every 40 minutes to an hour even if it says “water-resistant.”
  • Most people don’t use enough sunscreen. You need an ounce of sunscreen each time or about a shot-glass full.
  • Spread sunscreen in a thick layer. If you are using a spray, you need to rub it in. You might need to spray an area three times and rub it in three times to get it thick enough.
  • Choose a sunscreen that says “broad spectrum,” which indicates that it will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • SPF stands for sun protection factor. SPF measures the protection against UVB rays. It does not measure protection against UVA rays.
  • Choose the right SPF. An SPF of 30 means its 30 times more sun protection factor than nothing. You want an SPF of 30 or above.
  • New research actually indicates that the higher the SPF the better, which means there’s now a case for an SPF of 70 or 100. Previously, scientist thought there wasn’t much of a difference after SPF 50.
  • The fairer your skin, the more SPF you want to choose.
  • Sunscreen in makeup is not enough SPF, plus you don’t re-apply it every two hours to adequately protect.
  • A layer of sun-protective clothing will be better than sunscreen for protection. You can buy clothing with SPF factor built into the fabric or you can actually wash it in the washing machine with RIT Dye SunGuard to give it an SPF factor of 30.
  • There’s a difference between sunblock and sunscreen. Sunblock will have zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in it. It prevents the UV rays from penetrating into the skin. Sunscreen doesn’t block the UV rays, but it changes them once they hit the skin to make the rays not as harmful.
  • Children younger than 6 months can use a sunblock made for babies, but check with your pediatrician first. Keeping babies that young out of the sun and covered will be a better option than the sunblock.
  • There are slight differences in the formulas of regular sunscreen and sunscreen for children. In general, the one for children is made for delicate skin. The formula for babies should be a sunblock, but not always, so read the ingredients label first.
  • If you see a change in your skin or a mole or birthmark, see a doctor.
  • One in 5 people will be diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70.
  • More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined.

RELATED: More sunscreen tips

Sources: Dermatologists Dr. Ted Lain, Sanova Dermatology; Dr. Samantha Hill, formerly of Specially for Children and Dell Children’s Medical Center; and Dr. Lakshmi Atkuri, Scott & White Clinic — Round Rock; and Patricia Agin, formerly Coppertone’s scientific affairs leader at its Solar Research Center, and


What’s ahead for YMCA of Austin’s new overnight camp? We have details

YMCA of Austin announced  the name of the overnight camp it is building on 85 acres along Onion Creek in northern Hays County. It will be called Camp Moody after a $6.25 million gift from the Moody Foundation.

YMCA of Austin is planning to open Camp Moody in Summer 2020.

YMCA of Austin is finishing out a $18.3 million capital campaign, which includes a $500,000 challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation. It has about $2.8 million to go.

The goal of the new camp is to get more kids outdoors and provide more kids in the Austin area a chance to go to an overnight camp.

“Too many of our kids are spending too much time indoors, inactive, and in front of screens,” said Ellie Falcao, Co-Chair of the YMCA’s capital campaign, in a press release. “But YMCA Camp Moody will help get thousands of kids into the outdoors.”

The YMCA of Austin says it has been doing outdoor activities at its day camps since the 1970s, but it has been the largest YMCA in the country without an overnight camp.

The Camp Moody treehouse cabins.

The camp, which is expected to open the overnight portion in 2020, will be designed to be accessible for all. The first phase will include a dining hall, treehouse cabins, two bunk cabin villages, a 15,000-square-foot enclosed aquatics center, 700-foot dual zip lines, a climbing wall, archery range, ropes course, entertainment amphitheater, open-air sports space and accessible trails.

The zip line at Camp Moody.

The camp is designed to house 240 kids in its overnight program. Most sessions will be a week long, but there might be shorter camps offered for younger kids. The overnight camp will be for kids age 7-17. In addition, kids 4-14 will have day-camp options, and the hope is that the YMCA will be able to provide buses to and from camp.

Camp Moody aquatics center will be used by Hays Consolidated Independent School District.

The aquatics center will support the swimming program for Hays Consolidated Independent School District. The swim center is expected to open in September 2019.

“There is a clear need to preserve more natural spaces in Central Texas where kids can be physically active, connect with nature, and just play and explore in a safe environment,” said James Finck, YMCA of Austin president and CEO, in a press release. “We’re addressing a need to provide an accessible overnight camp experience; one that is closer to the city, affordable to all families, and welcoming to people of all abilities.”

The eventual pavilion at Camp Moody.

The property already is being being put to use by school groups. This summer, week-long day camps will be offered starting in June for $210 a week for nonmembers and $150 a week for members. Some financial assistance is available.

Here is this summer’s lineup: 

  • Week 1: Kids vs Nature, ages 6-8 (June 11-15)
  • Week 2: Kids vs Nature, ages 9-13 (June 18-22)
  • Week 3: Canoe 101, ages 8-13 (June 25-29)
  • Week 4: Canoeing Adventure, ages 8-13 (July 9-13)
  • Week 5: Aim High, ages 8-12 (July 16-20)
  • Week 6: STEAM Camp, ages 8 -12 (July 23-27)

Busing is not available this year. You can register by clicking this link.

The dining hall at Camp Moody.


Plan your Mother’s Day weekend with the kids with these family events


It’s going to be a beautiful Mother’s Day Weekend. There’s a slight chance for rain, but it’s going to be in the upper 80’s, low 90’s.

We’ve got plenty of kid-related activities for the weekend. Hint: Dads, consider finding something on Sunday to take the kids to while Mom gets a well-deserved break!


Balloon maker Teddy Kim has a sword duel with Khoi Hoang, 2, after he outfitted the youngster with his choice of weapon during CelebrASIA Austin. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2015

Field Day. Waller Creek Conservancy hosts this event to get you moving, help you learn about healthy food and more. Free. 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. (Rain day is May 19.) Palm Park, 711 E. Third St.

CelebrAsia Austin Asian Pacific American Food & Heritage Festival. See cultural performances, taste different foods and enjoy kids’ activities. This year it’s five spice-themed. Free; food for purchase. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Road.

Contemporary Austin. Saturdays Are for Families: Recycled Robots. Enjoy a nautical-themed art-making day. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Free. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St.

Thinkery. Parents’ Nights Out. Go see a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse or go out to dinner nearby while your kids play. Children must be 4 and up and potty-trained. 5:30-10 p.m. Friday. $45 first child, $25 each additional child. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Wildflower Center. Garden Bug Trackers. Find bugs in the wild as a family and create tools to find them in your yard. Noon, Saturday. $15 each parent/child. Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.

Williamson Museum. Hands-on History. Learn about Texas wildflowers during National Wildflower Week. Free. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Williamson Museum, 716 Austin Ave., Georgetown.



Kids Night Out at Color Me Mine! Play games, paint and have pizza. $35. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. Color Me Mine! 13500 Galleria Circle, U-110, Bee Cave.


Thinkery. Baby Bloomers: Away We Go. Learn about things that take flight. 9 a.m. Saturday. For birth to age 3. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Thinkery. Birdhouses. Ages 4 and up. 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $8. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden Family Day. Learn different forms of exercise as a family, plus make art. Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free. Umlauf Sculpture Garden, 605 Robert E. Lee Road.

Zach Theatre presents “Goodnight Moon.” The classic children’s book comes to the stage. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through May 27. $18-$24. Kleberg Stage, 1421 Riverside Drive.

Pollyanna Theatre. “The Secret of Soap & Spin.” 10-year-old Vic finds magic in the laundry map as his mother goes missing. For grades second through fifth. 2 p.m. Saturday- Sunday, and May 19-20. $10.50-$12. Long Center, 701 Riverside Drive.

Ballet Austin’s final production of the season is the family-friendly “Peter Pan,” featuring all the characters you know from J.M. Barrie’s story. Ballet Austin

Ballet Austin. “Peter Pan.” Watch as Ballet Austin sprinkles a little pixie dust on the story. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. $27-$99. Long Center, 701 Riverside Drive.

BookPeople 10:30 a.m. story times: Author Mary Sullivan, Saturday. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

Barnes & Noble 11 a.m. Saturdays, story times at all locations: Mother’s Day Story Time.

Tech Connect:  Robots in the Library, 2:30 p.m. Friday, Yarborough Branch. Digital Drawing for Kids. 3:30 p.m. Friday, Carver Branch, 11 a.m. Saturday, Pleasant Hill Branch. Stop Motion Animation. 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Teen Book Club: “Falling Kingdoms.” 3 p.m. Saturday, Central Library.

Friday Movie Matinee: “The Last Jedi.” 3:30 p.m. Friday, Carver Branch.

Friday Movie Matinee: “Rio 2,” 3:30 p.m. Friday, Old Quarry Branch.

Perler Bead Saturdays. Noon Saturday, University Hills Branch.




Austin Ukestra Ukulele Group. 1 p.m. Sunday, Recycled Reads Bookstore.



20 favorite TV moms and what they’ve taught us

Who among us hasn’t wished for a different mother, like the ones you see on TV? And for moms, who among you haven’t wished you could be more like those moms on TV? Steady and kind, funny and smart, always with the right answer to any problem.

For Mother’s Day, we give you 20 of our favorite TV moms. None of them are perfect, all of them have some definite flaws, but they are endearing, people we can relate to and they make us think. Deep down, they are just like real moms — but with better hair and wardrobe.

Carol Brady’s love was at the center of “The Brady Bunch.” FILE

Carol Brady

“The Brandy Bunch”

Carol Brady taught us that there didn’t need to be a difference between the love she had for the children she birthed and the love she had for the children who became hers through marriage. She’s the ultimate step-mom, and she quietly fought the notion of what boys and girls can do in her own house. “Camping is for boys and girls,” she told the kids.

June Cleaver loved her boys in “Leave It to Beaver.” File

June Cleaver

“Leave It to Beaver”

June Cleaver came to represent the bygone era of moms of the 1950s. Moms that always had a piping hot dinner on the table, while wearing a dress, heels and pearls. Yet, June Cleaver could be no-nonsense, and you definitely knew she cared about both of her boys and even neighbor Eddie Haskell. She was forever saying, “Ward, I’m very worried about the Beaver.”

Jackie and sister Roseanne might be different, but you know they love one another in “Roseanne.” ABC

Roseanne Conner


Roseanne Conner said the things all moms think with plenty of sarcasm thrown at you. Things like, “Excuse the mess, but we live here.” Roseanne and husband, Dan, don’t put on any airs. They are real Americans and they don’t care if you love them or loathe them. The great thing about Roseanne Conner is we’ve gotten to grow up with her family and see them 30 years later, and guess what? They are exactly the same.

Linda keeps the family going while Bob makes the family business happen in “Bob’s Burgers.” FOX

Linda Belcher

“Bob’s Burgers”

Linda Belcher loves her babies intensely. She’s fun, she’s a bit wacky. You just have to love her. And she’s very real, even if she’s a cartoon. She has real quips on parenting, like: “Raising you kids is a two parent, two-bottles-of-wine-a-night kind of job.”

Dre and Rainbow Johnson have been through a lot as a couple in “Black-ish.” ABC

Rainbow Johnson


We’ve gotten to watch Rainbow go through many things including most recently postpartum depression and conflict in marriage. She is the rock to the gregarious Dre, plus we love how she handles the in-laws and the teenagers, factions that could make any mom lose it. This family feels real because of her. As her husband announces that he’s figured out a way to save Halloween, she says, “Oh that’s great. I found a way to save a guy that was at the bottom of a pool for twenty minutes, but you go.”

“Speechless” is all about family and overcoming challenges. The parents just come up with different approaches. ABC

Maya DiMeo


Raising a child with differences makes you resilient. Never has there been an example of this like Maya DiMeo. She’ll pick up the whole family and move if she doesn’t get the services she wants for her kids. As she tells her son Ray, ““I’m not going to apologize for taking care of your brother. He got the right mum.”

Clair Huxtable always wore big hair, big earrings and big shoulder pads, but she also wore a strength that moved mountains. FILE

Clair Huxtable

“The Cosby Show”

The creator aside, this show taught us that women can be both a professional and a mom. They could be smart and sexy. They could be strong and vulnerable. They also could stand up to their husbands in a way that was not passive or offensive. “No, Cliff. You don’t understand, Honey. You did not have that child. I had that child. I was the one who was on that table screaming, ‘Take it out!’”

Mrs. Garrett was at the heart of “The Facts of Life.” FILE

Edna Garrett

“The Facts of Life”

Yes, Mrs. Garrett isn’t technically a mom to the girls under her care, but she definitely mothered those girls. She played the straight woman to their zany, and she always saw them for who they are, counseled them on all their troubles, and delivered consequences with a firm, loving stance. She always knew the right thing to say, “Oh honey, your decision to stay a kid is the most adult thing you’ve ever done.”

Marie Barone wouldn’t get out of son Raymond’s life or trying to control husband, Frank. CBS

Marie Barone

“Everybody Loves Raymond”

Marie Barone firmly believes that a mother’s work is never done, which is why she continues to mother both her adult sons. She mothers with guilt. She mothers with food, which is how she shows love. She is always the straight woman to husband Frank, who always got the best lines. Instead, with Marie, you knew exactly where she stood because she always let you know. As she often says, “I don’t like that.”

Ma made everything OK in “Little House on the Prairie.” FILE

Caroline Ingalls

“Little House on the Prairie”

Life on the American frontier was hard, yet Ma always kept her children fed and clothed and imparted wisdom that worked for any age, like this gem: “When you love somebody, it’s worth putting your pride behind you.”

Marion Cunningham “adopted” more than a few wayward strays in “Happy Days.” ABC

Marion Cunningham

“Happy Days”

Marion Cunningham loved her children and their friends, and she had a special place in her heart for the Fonz. “I hope you weren’t offended when I got a little peeved at you the other day … You did a wonderful job, Arthur. Shall we make up?”

“The Simpsons” never seem to age, but Marge becomes more and more central to the way that family works. Fox

Marge Simpson

“The Simpson”

Without Marge this family (and this show) wouldn’t work. While we often forget about her as the rest of the family is going through one round of high-jinks after another, she often knows the right thing to say to bring her children back to reality. Sometimes, it’s just a groan or a look, or a sigh that follows, “Oh, Homie.”

“The Addams Family” has had different incarnations like this movie version. Annie Lebovitz

Morticia Addams

“The Addams Family”

Morticia Addams celebrates her family and their uniqueness in fierce ways. She shows love and cleverness and feminism in the 1960s. “I’m just like any modern woman trying to have it all. Loving husband, a family. It’s just… I wish I had more time to seek out the dark forces and join their hellish crusade.”

The Keaton family in “Family Ties” learned how to love despite different political views. NBC

Elyse Keaton

“Family Ties”

Elyse Keaton had four very different kids, plus a Skippy. Yet, she loved every one of them, even Alex who was a Republican to her former hippie self, and Mallory, who was more interested in clothes and boys than school, something hard to understands as a woman with a career in architecture. Yet, she met every kid where they were and tried to help them be better. As she tells Alex, “You’re pushing yourself too hard.”

Lucy and Ethel were a package deal in “I Love Lucy.” FILE

Lucy Ricardo

“I Love Lucy”

Nothing ever went right for Lucy. Somehow she always messed something up, which made her very human. She taught us the importance of moms having friends. She and Ethel were thick as thieves, as with this exchange:

Lucy: I’ll get even with him!

Ethel: What are you gonna do?

Lucy: I’ll leave him! No. That’s probably what he wants.

Ethel: Yeah, stay married with him. That’ll teach him!

Coolest mom ever, Shirley Partridge let her kids form a band in “The Partridge Family.” FILE

Shirley Partridge

“The Partridge Family”

Shirley Partridge taught us that moms can rock and they can go on the road with their kids and form a rock band! She was the ultimate stage mom, but not in a creepy way, and with her magical tambourine, she allowed her kids to follow their dreams. She also gave us real insight in the struggle of being a single mom, “Let me explain something to you. I’m your mother, and in that way I’ll always belong to all of you. But I’m also a woman. And even with five children whom I love very much, and who I know love me, there are times when I still feel lonely.”

Michonne from “The Walking Dead” provides a lesson in love after loss. Gene Page/AMC


“The Walking Dead”

Michonne as the katana-wielding superheroine of the zombie apocalypse lost her own son to the apocalypse, but she took on the role of mother to Rick Grimes’ children. She’s become the voice of reason, after starting out with so much anger about her own child’s death. As she says to Grimes’ son Carl, “I can’t stop you, but you can’t stop me from helping you.” She’s the epitome of a strong woman making the best of a difficult situation and doing it with love.

Lois seems to always be yelling at someone in “Malcolm in the Middle.” Deborah Feingold/FOX


“Malcolm in the Middle”

Lois is an every mom. She’s working a bad job, trying to raise four boys, one of whom is already a delinquent and one of whom is a genius she doesn’t know what to do with. Plus she’s got a husband with some pretty wackadoodle ideas. She always comes back with a good quip: “Once upon a time, there was a little boy that made his mom so crazy she decided to sell him to a circus.”

Tami Taylor might think her husband’s approach needs softening and she’ll let him know in “Friday Night Lights.” NBC

Tami Taylor

“Friday Night Lights”

Tami Taylor as the school counselor/principal/football coach’s wife mothered a whole team, really a whole town. There’s a sweetness to her and a toughness. She’s always the voice of reason and compassion. As she says, “I believe in you with every cell of my being.”

Daenerys Targaryen is the Mother of Dragons in “Game of Thrones.” If you can mother dragons, you can do anything, right? HBO

Daenerys Targaryen

“Game of Thrones”

Motherhood can be elusive. Daenerys loses her unborn baby in the first season of “Game of Thrones,” yet she grows an empire and three dragons. She is the mother of dragons and so much more. As she says, “No one will take my dragons.” And yet, we now know she is vulnerable.

What moms really want for Mother’s Day can’t be bought

Just six more shopping days to Mother’s Day. Have you gotten your gifts yet?

Wait, let’s take a step back. Put down the wallet and realize that there’s more to this day than can be wrapped up in a bow.

Sometimes Mother’s Day feels like a day that Hallmark invented that never will measure up to that standard. No matter how perfect a day you plan for yourself or the mother in your life, something will happen. Someone will get sick. Someone will whine. Someone won’t be able to find the mayo in the fridge when it’s clearly in front of their face. And someone will treat it like it’s any other day.

Nicole Villalpando celebrates her daughter’s bat mitzvah last year with her mother, Tina De Stephen. Carol Calvery/For American-Statesman

My expectations for Mother’s Day have slowly diminished with each passing year of being a mother. It started with the first year when my husband didn’t realize that hey, our 4 month old couldn’t really go out and buy me something, much less say, “Happy Mother’s Day.” It was all on him. And boy, did he blow it. He’s much better now. Breakfast in bed? Yes, please. A quiet day with nothing that I have to do. Sure thing.

And I’m much better now, too. I set my expectations incredibly low. It’s not about the day. It’s about the life, the kids who sometimes remember to say, “I love you” or “Thank you, Mom.”

When in doubt, there’s always the pets who have unconditional love for me. After all, I’m the thing that’s between them and death because I show up and feed them and love on them, even if technically they are all my children’s pets.

So, I reflect on this old column that I wrote in 2012, six years ago — before the kids were teenagers. So much is still true, but, of course, I have a few more thoughts to add. It comes with the gray hairs brought on by having kids in middle school and high school.


Greatest gifts to give can’t be bought
This Mother’s Day, after breakfast in bed, give Mom something she really wants


What I really want for Mother’s Day isn’t material:

I want peace in our universe. Could you please stop fighting over things like TV time, computer time, who breathed on whom, who touched whom, who is annoying by merely existing?

Give me the gift of open conversation. Know that my door is always open no matter how busy I am. Know that there is nothing that you cannot tell me. A grunt or a shrug doesn’t really count as talking. And, please, leave your room every once in a while.

Be the best you can be. You don’t have to win a Nobel Prize or an Olympic gold medal, but you do need to find something you love and do it.

Give me the gift of a vision of the future. Let us all understand that right now is right now. Middle school and high school will soon pass. All the heartaches of these teen years, the struggles, the frustrations won’t be forever. What will be forever is our relationship. Help us remember that as we’re arguing over whether or not Algebra is something you have to do.

Do not embarrass me or yourselves. I hope I have done my job and raised you to be moral people with common sense. Please don’t do anything stupid that ends in a phone call from jail.

Grow up to not need me. Honor me best by becoming self-sufficient, honorable members of society with jobs you love and eventually families you love.

Want to be with me. I want our time together to be meaningful and enjoyable now, and, in the future, I don’t want you to only visit me because you feel obligated. And, when the time is right, please, put me in a nice facility and don’t feel guilty because you can no longer care for me at home.

Most importantly, love me. Know that I will always love you, and that’s not just a song. Please appreciate the choices I have made with your father to give you the best start in life we could give you. Know that we are human and surely disappointed you, but we really, really tried. When you become parents, you’ll understand that we did our best.