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Hello and Goodbye, South City

Patch editor Drew Himmelstein is back to work in a new role.

Hello, South San Francisco! It’s been a while. Let me tell you what I have been doing the last six months.

I’ve been getting to know a very special guy by the name of Nathaniel Auden Britt. Nathaniel entered the lives of his father and mother early on the morning of July 5, avoiding an Independence Day birthday by less than two hours. 

Had he arrived on the fourth, there’s a good chance he would have ended up with another name: Benjamin Franklin Britt. Of all prominent Americans, Benjamin Franklin—funny, curious, civic-minded, an enthusiast for all things—could hardly be a better model for a young boy. But once the clocked ticked past 12 o’clock, we decided to go with something less ostentatious: Nathaniel. His middle name, Auden, is a nod to the poet; his Hebrew name, Tzvi Levi, is after my father’s parents, but his first name, Nathaniel, or Nate, is just because we liked it.

What can I tell you about Nate? The first thing you’ll notice about Nate is he is quite a big boy. He was less than seven pounds when he was born, but now he’s cleared 20. His arms and legs are encased in delicious rolls of fat, and his mother and father can hardly stop themselves from ripping off his pajamas in the morning to kiss his round belly. (His pediatrician assures us that his girth is perfectly normal and indeed, desirable; he says it’s a good sign at this age when you can’t see your baby’s neck. And we can’t!)

He’s long, too, and loves to kick and stretch his legs. Nate’s newest trick is grabbing his toes, which he does whenever he can, but most adorably during his nightly bath. He loves to be sung to and jostled around; his father takes him on daily airplane rides through the air, and he frequently finds himself falling off his horse’s back as he bounces on my knees. And when all these things happen, he grins a big grin and chortles from the back of his throat.

So pretty much, he’s a baby, and we’re normal first-time parents, facing frequent moments of exhaustion and confusion, but mostly delighted with the child who has become the center of our lives.

Last week, Nate started full-time day care as I returned to work at Patch. It’s hard to be away from him, but it’s also wonderful to be reunited at the end of the day. And I get to come back to the work I love: creating an online resource for local communities full of news, opinions, local business, events and personalities.

Only, here’s the thing, South San Francisco: I'm not returning to South City as a local editor. I’m taking on a new role at Patch: as community editor for a larger group of Bay Area sites, I’ll be helping residents connect with Patch in more meaningful ways. I’ll be teaching youth sports teams how to publicize the success of their athletes, schools how to get the word out about their fundraisers and bloggers how to broaden the reach of their message.

This is a bittersweet move for me: in my two years editing South San Francisco Patch, I’ve gotten to know the local community and covered many significant moments in the life of this community. I truly value the relationships I’ve formed, and I’ve been moved by how much the people I met care about this city. In so many large and small ways, the people I’ve gotten to know in South City want to live well and improve the world around them. So many names jump to mind, but I’m not going to list them for fear of making a glaring omission. I hope to tell you personally, because although I won’t be covering South City every day, I’ll still be at Patch and I’ll still be around.

I leave you in the hands of a very capable team: Jacob Bourne, Rachel Stern and JB Davis are experienced Patch editors who are committed to covering local news. Read more about your new team here, and please reach out to me at drew@patch.com with any questions or just to say hi. 

Phyllis McArthur December 18, 2012 at 08:33 PM
He is so handsome, and YOU look great! I do miss you, and wish you all the best in your new position.
Tess December 19, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Drew, will miss your thorough and well balanced coverage of the news in SSF, but double congrats to you -- that is one precious baby and your new position with Patch sounds interesting. C U around town!
Austin Choi December 20, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Congratulations on your baby and your new job, Drew. I was so hesitant on finishing the article, fearing you were leaving us completely. Am so glad that you will still be with the patch....
Alana Gomez December 21, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Drew, we miss you but your baby is an absolute doll! I want to squeeze him and kiss him! :-) You have good reason to be happy and to leave us. Thank You!
Jim C December 23, 2012 at 08:41 AM
Welcome back, Drew! I'm sure you'll do wonderfully in your new position. Enjoy your beautiful new baby boy, every day...you seriously will wake up one day and not know where the time went.

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