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Boys Becoming Men

How 4 local boys stepped up to the challenge and helped their families during the uncertain times.

As a parent, it’s been interesting to see how we've redefined our roles over the past several months during the pandemic. Many of us can now add Teacher’s Aide, Flattening the Curve Explainer, Tech Trouble-Shooter, Short Line Cook, Squabbling Referee and Marie Kondo Certified Wannabe to our resumes. However, it’s not just the adults who have taken on new responsibilities. Kids have had to grow up quickly to help pitch in. To celebrate our men's issue, we thought we’d share an inside look at how some pretty amazing Dunwoody boys have become men in a relatively short time. These boys traded in their bats, tennis rackets, swim goggles, footballs, lacrosse sticks, school dances, local festivals, and one even their senior semester and rose to the occasion

Carrson Bailey 18-years old,  senior at Mt. Vernon High School,  heading to Georgia Southern University in the fall.

Q: What extra responsibilities have you taken on to help your family?

A: Extra stuff around the house like helping with cooking, but because my family’s business (Naylor Hall) is pretty much shut down right now for weddings or events. To help save money I’ve been cutting the grass and doing all the landscaping. I’ve also learned how to fix a few things – a lot goes into taking care of a 200+yr old home!

Q: What have you learned the past few months?

A: I’ve learned how to do yoga, some really cool poses that will increase my strength, I’ve mastered the alley-oop in basketball. I’ve focused on increasing my physical and mental health.

Q: What did you miss most about the last part of your senior year and what’s your silver lining?

A: It really is true… it’s the little things not the big things you miss most when life changes. I really missed just going to lunch with my friends, the ordinary little things. The silver lining is that I got to spend a ton of time with my family before I go off to college and having to do school from home let me create and organize my own schedule… which was great to learn before going to college!

Q: What’s the first thing you’re doing when life fully goes back to normal?

A: Get the boys together and just hang out!

Jake Piper 15yrs old freshman, Dunwoody High School

Q: What extra responsibilities have you taken on to help your family?

A: The family is joking that I’ve become obsessed with keeping the house clean, more than my parents, I vacuum even when I’m not asked to. I also have been cooking a few nights for everyone. I never really realized before everything that went into keeping a house clean and maintaining the outside!

Q: What have you learned the past few months?

A: I’ve learned how to cook – once a week I have an experiment night in the kitchen – my family loves it! I’ve also learned how to maintain myself, and the house better. I also have discovered new things to do in my free time, like Facetime group chatting with friends and card games.

Q: What did you miss most about doing school from home and what’s your silver lining?

A: Not much! Haha! Actually I missed my friends and human interaction, but I really liked handling my own schedule and taking breaks when I wanted to. Q: What’s the first thing you’re doing when life fully goes back to normal.

A: Get together with friends.

John David Piper 11yrs old 5th Grader – Austin Elementary

“I really like family time at the lake… I liked that before but now I really like it!”

Q: What extra responsibilities have you taken on to help your family?

A: My Dad says I’ve been a big help, I’ve just tried to help out whenever they ask me like laying down mulch, helping with the laundry, and whatever chores need to be done.

Q: What have you learned the past few months?

A: My mom helped me make my own small tennis court with a net on our driveway, so I’ve gotten better at tennis and I play basketball for a couple hours every day, even by myself. I’ve also learned I really like family time at the lake… I liked that before but now I really like it!”

Q: What did you miss most about doing school from home and what’s your silver lining?

A: I missed seeing my friends and doing sports with them, but I really liked that doing school at home was much faster and took less time than school did!

Q: What’s the first thing you’re doing when life fully goes back to normal?

A: Play sports with friends.

Liam Shepherd 11yrs old 6th Grader, Peachtree Charter Middle School

Q: What extra responsibilities have you taken on to help your family?

A: I’ve been doing lots of stuff my mom asks – like sweeping and cleaning our screened-in-porch, vacuuming, blowing the driveway every day, helping with laundry and she calls me the official dishwasher. I also built a fire-pit in our back yard.

Q: What have you learned the past few months?

A: I Facetime with my grandparents every day, because it makes them happy and they have to stay inside. Learning about my grandparents and family history has been cool. My Granny Janette taught me what it was like to live as a kid through WW2 in Scotland and all about the war. And my Grandpa in Michigan reads huge 500 page books with me over video. My Granma taught me music and I can play the ukulele!

Q: What did you miss most about doing school from home and what’s your silver lining?

A: I miss getting to talk with my friends, seeing my favorite teachers, and doing water polo. But I really liked doing school from home because I got to take more breaks and spend more time with my dog.

Q: What’s the first thing you’re doing when life fully goes back to normal?

A: I can’t wait to go back to school and say hey to my friends in person!

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