gmhTODAY 19 gmhToday April May 2018 - Page 88

Dora Carrasco Dora and husband Jimmy struggled for ten years to have children and feel blessed that they have Isabella 8, and Alejandro 6. "You don't get a book on how to raise kids,” Dora told TODAY . "You learn as you go; as you teach your kids what works and what doesn't.” Dora recalls one of her early lessons learned when Alexandro had a tough time learning to write his name. She even offered to shorten it to Alex but he said no. "When he got it, it was a celebration. I felt so bad for giving them such long names," she said. "This trial and error method of teaching has been tough at times, but fulfilling in its own right.” One realization that many parents face is the awareness of their children's differences. "What works for one may not work for the other; they have two very different personalities,” she said. Dora remembers the early years of her children's lives where she would struggle to take both of them with her to the store or manage temper tantrums. But as they have gotten older, patience has been its own reward. “Right now, I am seeing the reward of being patient with them and showing them how to do things,” Dora explained. “I can be cooking and they are doing their homework.” gmh Dora, Alejandro, Isabella, and Jimmy Carrasco Jill Fortino When Jill Fortino speaks of her two boys, her face lights up — she has that twinkle in her eyes and soft smile usually reserved for the mother of a new born. But her boys, Nicolas, 19 (a sophmore at Chico State) and Kevin, 17 (a senior at Christopher High, are well on their way to adulthood. "I feel lucky to be their mom,” she tells TODAY . "I have two amazing kids, they excel academically, they are polite, motivated and hard working,” she adds. A teacher since 1995, Jill now teaches seventh grade at Brownell Middle School. "I taught elementary school until last year — but I really connect with the middle school age group; they're not too big for their breeches yet,” she said. Her husband, Gino, owns and operates the family business, Fortino Winery. They have been married for 21 years but actually went to high school together here in Gilroy. Jill attributes much of her success as a mother to a number of things: having a good support system in her friends and family; having the opportunity to be a stay-at- home mother for the seven years; and "just being there.” She down played the challenges of raising the boys but sited things like sibling rivalry, sports related injuries and the differences in the their personalities. "They are so very different,” she noted. She describes Nicholas as a hands-on, get your hands dirty kind of guy who is very adaptable. Kevin is less so, a little more anxious, sensitive, and always has a twinkle in his eye and smile from ear to ear. Both boys plan to make wine with their father after college. gmh 88 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN APRIL/MAY 2018 Jill and Kevin Fortino