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Family valued 3.9.05

Pour a little sugar on me, baby

Sure you're reluctant to promote your kid's love affair with sugar. Cavities. Empty calories. The thrill of experiencing cabin fever with a kid jacked up on pixie sticks.

Relax. Sap, Syrup, and Sugar at Genesee Country Museum's Nature Center in Mumford is far from the madding crowd of refined sugar junkies. This program, held March 12 and 13, 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., lets kids experience the maple sugaring process taught to early settlers by Native Americans.

On the guided half-hour walk, kids can carry sap buckets on yokes across their shoulders. Seeing your kid shift buckets of sap like Babe the Blue Ox is a sight that'll warm your heart on the coldest of days.

Taste the finished product at the sugar shack where families lived and worked for weeks at a time. Back at the nature center, kids can bore holes into logs and hammer in taps. Is there a kid alive who can resist the heady combination of sugar and hand tools?

The program is $5 for adults, $3 for kids ages 4-16, free for kids 3 and under. A pancake breakfast will be served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on all four days for an additional fee of $5 for adults, $3 for kids ages 5 to 10, free for kids 4 and under.

There'll be lots of sugar but no crashing at the sugaring-off party on March 19 from 5 to 9 p.m. Reservations are required.

For info, go to www.gcv.org or call 538-6822.

--- Linda Kostin (www.junkstorecowgirl.com)

This week for families:

The Adventures of a Bear Called Paddington Sat-Sun, Mar 12-13. TYKEs, UpStage3, Auditorium Theatre Center, 875 E Main St, Sat 10:30 a.m.; Sat-Sun 1 p.m. $10. 723-6080

Brighton Memorial Library storytimes: Mondays 10 a.m. (ages 3-4), 10:30 a.m. (ages 1-2.5); Thursdays 7 p.m. 2300 Elmwood Avenue. 784-5300, www.brightonlibrary.org

Family Folk Fair Sun, Mar 13. Orleans County 4H Fairgrounds, Rte 31, Knowlesville, 1-5 p.m. Free. 343-9313

Henrietta Public Library storytimes: Tuesdays 11-11:30 a.m., Wednesdays 10:15-10:45 a.m. 455 Calkins Rd. 359-7092, www.hpl.org

Maple Sugar Open House Sat, Mar 12. Helmer Nature Center, 154 Pinegrove Ave, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 336-3035

The Owls of Braddock Bay Tues, Mar 15. Tuesdays and talons family program, Braddock Bay Park Lodge, E Manitou Rd, 7 p.m. $1. 392-5432

Parents College Workshop Wed, Mar 16. Finger Lakes Community College, 4355 Lakeshore Dr, 6 p.m. 394-FLCC ext 7278

Penfield Public Library through Apr 30. poetry contest, grades 6-12. 1985 Baird Rd, Penfield. 340-8720

Preschool Workshop Thurs, Mar 10. art project, story, Gallery tour, ages 2.5-5, Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. $17. 473-7720

Rochester Museum and Science Center 657 East Ave. Sat, Mar 12, Public BUBLT Mission, 1:30-3:30 p.m. $16, $13 students. | Surprise! It's Science, through May 2005 | Rochester's Frederick Douglass, through January 2006 | Live Science! demos and theater, Sat 2, 3 (sign-interpreted), 4 p.m.; Sun 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 p.m. | Ongoing exhibits include: AdventureZone, Carlson Inquiry Room, At the Western Door, Try Science Around the World | Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $5-$7. 271-1880, www.rmsc.org

Rochester Railroad Club Open House Sat-Sun, Mar 12-13. First Universalist Church, 150 S Clinton Ave, Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 1-5 p.m. $3 adults, $2 kids. 454-2567

Seneca Park Zoo 2222 St Paul St. Hours: daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tix: $5, $4 seniors, $2 kids. 467-9453, www.senecazoo.org

Strong Museum 1 Manhattan Square. Mon, Mar 14, Monday Kicks, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | Wed, Mar 9, Wednesdays for Tots, 9:30 a.m. | Enchanted Museum, through May 8. | Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog, through May 1. | Long-term exhibits include National Toy Hall of Fame, Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street? and Super Kids Market. Hours: Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $7; $6 seniors, students; $5 children. 263-2700

Swimming Lessons through June 4. Tuesdays and Thursdays 5-8 p.m., Saturdays 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Freddie Thomas Learning Center, 625 Scio St; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 5-8 p.m., James Madison School, 200 Genesee St. 428-7888

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They live in wisdom who see themselves in all and all in them... --- The Bhagavad Gita, 2: 55

My son and I have a curious bedtime ritual. Each night we race from the foot of the stairs to an object in his bedroom, but always with a catch: He doesn't identify the object until he reaches it. There are no other rules. I can easily outrun him with my longer legs, but to what end? I can overwhelm him with my superior strength, but to no advantage. The finish line is his to name. I can never win.

The evening he introduced this game, I was struggling to come to terms with a few people obviously dissatisfied with my performance, but who avoided speaking their criticism to me openly --- a classic passive-aggressive ploy. I easily outran my son to his room that night and began to madly dash about touching every object in view. He laughed at me and said, "Sorry, we were racing to this pillow." Enlightenment: This same game is played in many forms if we are wise enough to recognize our own foolishness.

Who has you madly dashing for their praise? Who is madly dashing after yours? The approval of others is a shifting finish line of a desperate race we can't win. Clearly, defining one's self and one's own goals is success itself. It is also the perfect recipe for a healthy, fulfilling life. Reach it, then teach it.

--- Rev. Corey Keyes