Special Sections » Families

Family valued

Bird of Prey Week at Braddock Bay Park

Don't let the suburban sprawl of West Ridge Road fool you. North Greece is the perfect place to observe raptors like hawks and owls. Bird of Prey Week, hosted by Braddock Bay Raptor Research, celebrates the raptors' annual migration. Held at the lodge at BraddockBayPark, it offers exciting family fun, free of charge.

            Hawks for Kids runs daily through Friday, April 16, from 1 to 3 p.m. Kids (up to age 12) can enjoy crafts and stories, see live raptors, and meet the Incredible Hawk. Sure, he's a guy in a bird suit, but he's not just another pretty beak. He eats guys like Tweety for breakfast.

            On Saturday, April 17, bring your binoculars for an owl hike at 8 a.m. and hawk watching at noon. See hawk banding demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and a live raptor program at 2 p.m. Last year, we learned turkey vultures vomit in self defense. Thankfully, my kids didn't try that at home.

            The Hawk Out Celebration is Sunday, April 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It features storytelling at 1, hawk banding at 2 p.m., live raptors, kids' games, and an art show. Lunch is available for $4.

            Bird of Prey Week reminds us we're not so different from other creatures. We learned last year that bald eagles develop their characteristic bald heads when they reach maturity. Several dads in the audience nodded in empathy.

            For a complete schedule of events, visit www.bbrr.org or call 321-1616.

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

This week for families:

After Easter Egg Hunt Fri, Apr 16. Ages 6-10, WebsterCommunity Center, 530 Webster Ave, 2 p.m. Free. 428-7828

Basketball tournament Thurs, Apr 15 and Fri, Apr 16. Ages 14 and under, PierpontRecCenter, School #7, 219 Pierpont St, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.Free, registration required. 428-6859

Barnes & Noble GreeceStorytimes Every Wed, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., every Fri 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.330 Greece Ridge Center Dr, 227-4020

Barnes & Noble Pittsford stories every Wed 9:30 and 11 a.m., every Fri 7 p.m.3349 Monroe Ave. 586-6020

BizKidsTues-Fri, Apr 13-16. Entrepreneurship course for city residents ages 14-18, Tay House, 85 Hillside Ave, CobbsHillPark, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Free. 428-7371

Brighton Memorial Library StorytimesEvery Mon 10:30 a.m., toddlers; every Mon 11:30 a.m., preschoolers; every Tues 7 p.m., all ages; every Wed 3:30 p.m., ages 5-7; Every Thurs 7 p.m., families; Every Fri 10:30 a.m., ages 2-4. | 2300 Elmwood Ave, 784-5300

Eco-Fest and Recycling Olympics Thurs, Apr 15. Cool Kids Earth Day Event, The FORUM, GCC, One College Rd, Batavia, 7-8 p.m. Free. 637-3984

Finding Out About Food Thurs, Apr 15. Hearthside cooking for kids, RoseHillMansion, Rte 96A, Geneva, 1-3 p.m.Tix: $3. 315-789-5151

Henrietta Public Library Model airplane workshop, Wed, Apr 14, ages 10 and up, 2-4 p.m. | Fire Safety, Thurs, Apr 15, for ages 4-7, 2-3 p.m. | American Red Cross Babysitter's Training, Fri, Apr 16, for ages 11 and up, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tix: $30. | 455 Calkins Rd. 359-7093

Jumbo Tues, Apr 20. Don McNelly, the story of Jumbo, Irondequoit Public Library, 45 Cooper Rd, 7 p.m. Free. 336-6062

Month of the Young Child Events Mon-Fri, Apr 12-16: YMCA Splash Week, various locations. 546-5500. | Wed, Apr 14 and Sat, Apr 17: ToyResourceCenter Open House, Lincoln Branch Library, 851 Joseph Ave, Wed 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sat 1-3 p.m. Free. | Go Fly a Kite, Tues, Apr 20, Adams StRecCenter, 85 Adams St, 3-5 p.m.

Phillis Wheatley Community Library Storytimes Every Thurs. For preschoolers, 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way, 10:30 a.m. 428-8212

Preschool Family Workshop Thurs, Apr 15. For ages 2 1/2-5, art project, story, tour, Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Tix: $15. 473-7720 ext 3056

SenecaPark Zoo ZooCamp, Mon-Fri, Apr 12-16, morning (9 a.m.-12 p.m.) or full-day (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) sessions.Tix: $30-$45 per session. | Little Ducks, Tues, Apr 20, for 2-yr-olds, 10:15 a.m.Tix: $18. | 2222 St. Paul St.Tix: $5. 467-9453

Strong Museum Spring Break Week, Mon-Fri, 12-16, entertainment, crafts, activities, in conjunction with Berenstein Bears and Where the Wild Things Are exhibits, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Tuesdays for Tots, Tues, Apr 20, for ages 2-5, Mrs. McPuppet, 9:30 a.m. Tix: $7, $5 kids. | One Manhattan Square, 263-2700, www.strongmuseum.org.

Underwater Egg Hunt Wed, Apr 14. Ages 6-10, swim attire required, Adams St Community Center Pool, 85 Adams St, 1 p.m. Free. 428-7456

Wee Folks Tea Party Sat, Apr 17. Fairy theme, All Things Art, 65 S Main St, Canandaigua, 1-3:30 p.m.Tix: $5. 396-0087

Information on museum exhibits can be found in the calendar's Museum section.

A different birthday gift

When our elder daughter turned 1, my wife suggested that each of us write a letter to her about the year. The idea was to do this on each birthday, save the letters, and give them all to her on her 18th. I started that first letter, "Because of you, this has been, by the widest of margins, the best and most wonderful year of my life."

            We now have three children, and if we'd been diligent, there would now be about 26 letters, working toward the 108 we intended to eventually write. We haven't been perfect. But still, if we get even half or more of them written, think of the amazing personal history we'll hand over to each child.

            Looking back at my letters, there's so much I was already forgetting: sushi lunches with my oldest in her third year, the fact that my middle child used to like kissing, and how my children adjusted to their siblings' births. And I'm reminded of sad things, like my girls' reactions to losing their grandmother.

            Pictures are nice. They remind us of moments, and of how we all looked at another time. But when we write about something, we contemplate it, and those are reflections of a deeper nature. There is no family tradition we have about which I feel more strongly. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a fifth birthday letter to write.

--- Adam Wilcox