As Luke gets older and older, and I continue to be a stay at home mom, I watch him grow and change daily and I hope that I have some sort of influence on his growth and development (in a positive way, of course.) I am always wondering if I am doing enough - enough playing with him, enough leaving him alone to develop his imagination, enough reading, enough social interaction, etc, etc. And most of the time I think we have a pretty good balance. I read to him, he reads to whoever will listen, we play with trucks and blocks, he mixes up all his toys and plays in his imaginary world, we take walks, he hones his artistic skills with markers and crayons (any surface with suffice), he watches PreSchool Prep DVDs (okay, and Finding Nemo). When I run errands I try to give him as much independence as possible whilegiving him rules and guidelines. He likes to help do everything - throw things in the trash, take his dish to the sink, open the car door, push his own stroller and it is cute seeing him do all these things and it is amazing how quickly he catches on to it all. And still, I wonder if I seize all opportunities he presents to me. When I was little I remember doing so many fun things with my parents: finger painting, dyeing Easter eggs, making homemade applesauce, playing catch in the backyard and shooting hoops in the front yard, baking cookies, learning to draw, conducting science experiments, playing board games, singing silly songs, among so many other things. I think of these things often and I always try to put an age to each activity and I fall into the trap of thinking that he is too young and we can always do it when he is older. Sometimes I'll test this theory and have him help me put things in a bowl or hand me a spoon when I am cooking and surprise, surprise, he does exactly what I ask of him and he does so with so much pride. I'm not whipping up batches of homemade applesauce with him but I do break out the Play-Do (just like mom did, but hers was homemade), we're fans of art projects (although I need to start being a little more daring, finger paints anyone?), we read books all the time (just like my dad did with us) and instead of Wee Sing Silly Songs, we rock out to Ralph's Word and Raffi. Recently I read a blog post by a fellow mommy who was raving about High Five, a Highlights Magazine for little ones, ages 2-6. I was intrigued because 1) I have been searching high and low for a magazine or subscription geared toward the toddler set and 2) I LOVED Highlights when I was young. I think mom got my brother and I a subscription once or twice and I know we would pick up a magazine here and there. And let's not forget all the times I read Highlights at the doctor's office or dentist's office. I found out more about High Five at blog.parentbloggers.com and at the Highlights website and I'm sold. I can't wait to see what High Five will bring us. As Luke and I read and explore the pages, I hope he will grow to love Highlights just as much as I did. We'll work on science experiments and shooting hoops a little later.