Noticing with the Nault Family


We went into this 3 week series idea with one question: What would happen if we asked parents what goodness they’ve Noticed in their kids this year? Everyone, meet the Nault family. Debra and Shawn have two kids- Logan, a junior, & Lucy who’s in seventh grade. Debra & Shawn both lit up when talking about what Lucy & Logan had been up to. This family (complete with their super cute dog who walked in to join mid-interview) is supportive, tight knit, and encouraging their kids to make this year work for them in their own way.


Debra: They're great kids and we definitely learn from them all the time, but especially with how they’ve been handling COVID. Shawn: Oh yeah.


Hayley: I’d love to hear more about that.


How would you describe what it’s been like?


Debra:

So Lucy was in sixth grade, at the end of elementary school, and here they are under quarantine. Instead of sitting at home and being on her phone, she hung out with a small group of kids. They explored, played outside every day, were riding bikes- Shawn: They were going into the creek, walking the trails and getting dirty. Coming home covered in mud.


Debra:

I mean, we probably destroyed a good number of shoes. They were doing things that you don't hear kids today do very often. Hayley:

It was such a big switch for them all of a sudden. Their whole world changed, right?

Debra:

Exactly. So here you've got active kids who are used to playing soccer and volleyball and going to practices, and then they don’t have that anymore. But instead of just sitting around on electronics and watching TV or YouTube or doing Tik Toks, they were out and they were playing.


Shawn:

It's amazing to see how they were able to make something in a time where the world said: stay home, shut down.


Debra:

It’s like they said, we can make it open up in our own way. At one point Lucy decided to learn how to skateboard.


Hayley:

I love that. You just gave the go ahead.


Debra:

It was really fun to see them explore like that. The kids were also very respectful of space and health guidelines in terms of not letting anybody in each other's house. They kept it outside. Hayley: What’s the trait that you Noticed from her during this quarantine time?


Shawn:

I think it really brought out her sense of adventure and exploration and curiosity. She was dreaming stuff up and just going for it. Debra:

Lucy told me the other day- the friendships I've had, I really don't think I would have if it wasn't for being at home like this.


She and the girls actually ended up befriending and including three boys into their group. It’s so cool to hear about because she's like, “There's no drama. We just all want to hang out and have fun.” Which is great to hear.


They even have a name, they were calling themselves the Savage Seven. For Halloween, the girls dressed up as Chiefs players and the boys dressed up as cheerleaders.



Hayley:

How fun! That's a real feel-good, especially for this year. I've been wondering what it's like for kids and what they are doing. It's really cool to hear that your family hasn’t sat on tech all day, the kids took this situation and ran with it.


Shawn:

I would tell you, we are equally as proud of our son Logan. He's 16, so he is a junior. Hayley: What’s he like? Debra: He's big into robotics. He LOVES robotics. And they had to end the robotics season early when quarantine started, which was pretty tough on him. But one thing that helped was my husband took the kids on a Colorado trip back in June, because I had just started a new job.


They ran into a record store and decided to go in, just for exploring. My son really likes music, so when he came home he bought a turntable! Now him and my husband are really into these records. He's been going to record stores all over Kansas City and getting things like Notorious B.I.G., Nirvana, eighties pop, rap- it's really given him a new hobby, something new he has discovered.



Shawn:

He's been collecting albums and using his own money to buy these albums. He goes to all these record stores and then comes back and listens to them. When they're doing their virtual days of school, he's got the turntable going on in the background and plays music.


80s, 90s rap, Led Zeppelin- then new stuff too like Panic! at the Disco, Twenty One Pilots. It’s all over.


Debra:

Recently he went by a record store that was doing a sale, and bought a chipmunk pop album. He bought it for five dollars just for fun because he thought it would be hilarious. Hayley: I love that so much!

Shawn: I'm an airline pilot based in Boston, and I can be in Boston for five, six days at a time. So when I’m in Boston, I'll go to record stores and then come home with a new record for us. By this last trip I took he had gotten used to that routine. I got home and before I’d even been to the door, Logan was like, “Where's the record you bought?” Hayley: That routine will go way beyond this time. That’s going to last.

Debra:

Definitely. And in a time when they couldn’t have homecoming, the friend group still had four boys and girls get all dressed up and take dance pictures. They decided to come to our house because of Logan’s music. They wanted to listen to all the different albums he's found. So we ordered 200 chicken nuggets, and they ate dinner all dressed up at the house. Hayley: What a memory. Thank you for talking with me and sharing these stories. Your kids taking on this year with your support, and exploring new things- it’s the kind of stuff people want to hear about, and it has been really uplifting to talk to you. Shawn:

You have us talking about our favorite topic!

Debra:

We love them and are so glad we could share.




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