Meet my mom, Gretchen.

My mom is super loving, dynamic, and creative. She finds love and magic everywhere. My mom has a ferocity in her that’s incredibly inspiring. She is resilient and powerful. She is also the most tenderhearted person on the face of the Earth. Mom is a children’s librarian in an elementary school in North Carolina, which basically describes her in a nutshell – she is like the queen of books and creativity, she’s silly and fun, communities thrive around her, and – one of my favorite things – she treasures the brilliance and creativity of children. Mom is the Secret Keeper for many a first grade dream, and she’s earned the title.

What I admire most about her is…

My mom is a nurturer. Everything she does is full of love and care. I want to bring my ferocity and nurture together like she does so seamlessly.

My favorite thing to do with her is…

Singing in the car, or . . . drinking wine and watching America’s Next Top Model reruns in our Christmas pajamas.

Ways we are most similar…

We both have a fierce sense of what’s fair and good in the world and have a low tolerance for people being small or petty with each other. We love color, creativity, reading out loud, bringing people together, laughing loudly.

Ways we are most different…

My mom is really positive and you can’t help feeling great when you’re around her. These days, I think I’m in my Saturn Return, so I have less of the sparkle and I’m more apt to just say what’s there. I think I’m also more of a “sufferer,” like, I’m the one to sacrifice my evening to be a good girl with extended family or whatever, and Mom is much more realistic about what she can handle, and what is/isn’t her “job.”

I think our mother-daughter relationship is so special because…

I think it comes back to the tenderheartedness and creativity. My mom brings a shimmer to our relationship, to our family, so being together feels special and bright. We have years of singing in harmony to my favorite bands, and as I get older, we share more intimacy, which I just hadn’t had access to before I grew up a bit. My mom always looks at the bright side, always celebrates what’s there to celebrate, and always makes any occasion special. I always think about this thing she said when I was in middle school- I think my piano teacher had said that I played too loudly or something- and my mom corrected her pretty quickly by saying that I play with a lot of feeling and expression.

Meet my daughter, Laura.

My daughter, Laura, has a light about her that draws people in. She affirms, challenges and nurtures those around her. She gives help and she’s not afraid to ask for help when she needs it herself. Writing, music, coffee, art – these are all things that give her joy.

What I admire most about her…

Laura is brave enough to try a lot of things – starting her own business, finding a musical partner, traveling to parts unknown.

My favorite thing to do with her…

I love to go visit and just experience her daily life. I love to learn about her neighborhood, the people who know and love her, to cook in her kitchen and buy her little things she needs. I wish I could do that more often! I also love to cry with her over Harry Potter.

Ways we are most similar …

I think in our wish to help others, to love and nurture. We both get enormous gratification and satisfaction from our helping professions, as well as loving and supporting the people closest to us.

Ways we are most different…

Laura is much more able to express her emotions and needs than I am. She is willing to put herself out there to try something new, something outside of her comfort zone, whether it’s being in a crowd of new people or exploring a talent or interest. I’m more inclined to let other people’s needs take precedence over mine and parties with lots of unknown people give me the willies!

I think our mother-daughter relationship is so special because…

I’m so proud of the young woman that Laura has become. She is my daughter, someone I brought into the world to love, nurture and launch. She, in turn, has loved and nurtured me through some very difficult times. We can laugh or cry together, take pleasure in small things and rejoice in each other’s victories.

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