Okay, so obviously, there are more than 13 things to be grateful for as parents in Philly. (After-school programming! The museums! The festivals! Drop-in classes! Drop-off classes! The rise of fast-casual dining! Sleep coaches! Wawa free coffee days!) But a few things have really risen to the top of our gratitude list this year. Things like:
1. New city Targets
Bad for the wallet, but so good for the spirit.
2. The (impending) end of the School Reform Commission
The prospect of more local control over our own schools seems very promising for Philly students, Philly parents, and Philly as a city.
5. Jefferson, CHOP, St. Christopher’s, Penn Med …
It’s easy to be a bit cavalier about all the top-tier hospitals and medical facilities we have in our backyard … until the day you need one. And then, whether you’re talking about a scary fever (been there) or a smashed toe (done that) or an emergency C-section or a second-degree burn or the world’s first double hand transplant, it hits you how very lucky we are to be surrounded by this level of care for our babies.
6. The big LED screen at Comcast
It’s free, it’s magical, and there are clean bathrooms open to the public downstairs. (And hey, a trip to see the holiday show is an excellent, festive outing all on its own. It snows! Inside!)
7. The Philadelphia moms crusading for lactation facilities at Amtrak stations
Thanks, y’all, for pushing to get clean, private, not-disgusting places to breast pump in some of the busiest train stations in the country.
8. All of the new family-oriented stuff that just keeps popping up everywhere
With every new play space or place for classes (hello, Lume Creative Learning Studios, Evelyn’s Corner, Sue’s Art Class), or new kids’ store (Momo’s Tree House Fitler Square, Moon and Arrow’s Little Moon), or new museum (Museum of the American Revolution), or new preschool (Philly Montessori, The Aspen Grove School), or new helpful service of any sort (Allergy Friendly Philadelphia, Active Mom Fitness), or even just bigger, better spaces for old favorites (Mister John’s Music, Philly InMovement), it just gets easier and easier for all of us parents to make a good life happen in this city. 2017 has been a great year for cool new family-friendly (and parent-friendly) debuts of all sorts.
Speaking of helpful new services: Huge props to ShuttleBee, the transport service that helps people get their kids to and from their schools all over the city. A lifesaver for lots of Philly parents!
11. Urban Axes
Because sometimes a mom really needs to throw an ax.
12. The friends of school groups
Where would our schools be without the community groups that support them? In fact, in that vein, we’re also thankful for all of the HSAs, parents, neighbors, volunteers, bake-sale organizers, Pledge Cents donors, Kickstarters, grant-writers, local businesses, and — of course — teachers, principals and support staff who tirelessly give and give and give what they can to our public schools. They’re vital to our kids, our city, our future and our property values, and there’s not enough thanks in the world for them.
13. And the friends of parks groups
Same goes for the people who volunteer to keep our parks, playgrounds, gardens and green spaces clean and well-programmed, saving us (and our kids) from life in a concrete jungle.
Photo Credit: Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia™