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Families. We all have them — in their many shapes and sizes, hopefully filled with joy much of the time.

Our June issue of Bakersfield Life focuses on families, and what better time for that than when we are on the cusp of summer, yearning to spend time with our loved ones and venture outdoors, especially as we emerge bit by bit from our pandemic-induced habits, which kept some — but certainly not all — of us quite close to home.

What can we do this summer?

Specialty publications designer Julie Mana-ay Perez highlights family adventures both near and far. There's something for everyone in her list of places to go and things to do. Don't say nothing's happening in Bakersfield!

What if you're thinking of adding to your family?

Reporter Josh Bennett explores the process of taking a foster child into your family, sometimes with the goal of adoption.

What if your child is experiencing difficulty at school?

Writer Dianne Hardisty offers a piece on navigating difficult conversations when things aren't going well in the classroom — for any number of reasons — and also writes about empowering your child to be their own best advocate when that's a good choice.

What if you are preparing for a big move with your family?

Realtor Scott Knoeb offers several good tips for making the transition as smooth as possible — because we know it's not always easy to pick up and plant new roots. But joy awaits in that new home!

What about our pets?

Check out our Pet Parade, celebrating the furry felines and canines who bring joy to our lives and are an integral part of our families. (Here's looking at you, my fabulous felines!)

Looking to spend some time cooking?

Linsee Hennessy offers a sweet recipe for strawberry-vanilla swirl cupcakes that are sure to please your family. And it's an activity you can work on together.

Ready to send your kids to summer camp?

Check out some choices — everything from music to summer learning — for the young people in your life.

June is a big time for families. The school year draws to a close. Graduations abound. We celebrate the start of that season, too.

It is with our families that we try out our ideas, explore our passions, learn to work with others and sometimes even fail, hopefully with people to help pick us back up.

So whether your family is near or far, take some time with them and celebrate what they add to your life.

Christine L. Peterson

Executive Editor