My journalism career started when I wrote for the student newspaper at Westminster High School in the early 1990s. I liked seeing my name in print; I liked telling stories. Mrs. Berry was the newspaper advisor, and our little staff of writers and photographers was an interesting and eclectic crew.

I’ve now been a journalist, a storyteller, for a few decades. I like to divide my life up into chapters and sometimes I don’t even know I’m in a chapter until I learn something important or realize that the chapter has ended. And as is the case with all of us, I have different chapters in the works all the time — my parenting narrative overlaps with my career narrative, which directly butts up against my social narrative, and I feel like there is also a storyline for the real heroes of the story — my dogs. There have been moments in my life that have been particularly meaningful or jarring — defining moments — and I remember telling myself to absorb every detail, to ingest all the things my senses were picking up, because I knew it was a significant part of the story of Kym.

I feel like I’m currently working towards the end of a chapter and this “moment” is taking place over months, maybe a whole year. My twins are finishing up their senior year of high school. My senses are on overload and I can’t really keep up with how fast time is moving. I get stuck between thinking of all the milestones that got us here — first days of school, surviving the middle-school years, first jobs, first loves, dances, grades, sports — and what life will look like next year when it’s just me and the dogs staring at each other during dinner. The roller coaster of emotions is intense.

But I love the journey. And I think that’s why I like being a storyteller. The end of one story is often the beginning of another. I’m excited about what’s ahead — for me and for my kids, who may be embarking on some of their most amazing chapters. In the meantime I’m forcing myself to live hard in this chapter, to embrace the emotions and ignore the kids when they complain that I take too many pictures and videos.

Much of what I’ve learned about parenting I learned the hard way, or from friends who learned the hard way. One of my favorite pieces in this issue has local moms sharing what the books don’t tell you about the sport of momming. As we celebrate Mother’s Day in May, remember to rally around the moms who are trying to survive the day and give a cheer to the moms who have it figured out — for the moment.

Whatever chapter you’re currently living, I hope this spring offers opportunities to embrace a spirit of adventure and curiosity. Enjoy the journey and savor the small moments. I’ll just be over here wildly fluctuating between sad, proud, nostalgic, excited, anxious and happy, of course. Mostly happy.

Kym Byrnes

Have feedback? Email your ideas to: