Tough Love

Portland, Oregon, July 30, 2016

As a young mother I made play dough from scratch, and later I woke my grade school aged daughters with steaming mugs of hot coco. I made crepes for breakfast before school. I did their homework and every summer we went to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

After my husband died I sat my daughters down and gave them a clear picture of my vision for our future and what was expected of them. They both got jobs and no one went to therapy. That was three years ago.

In the days that followed my husband’s death I did nothing, but pray. I prayed for strength, guidance and clarity. I prayed as I went through my day. My morning ritual is still the same. I pray before I get out of bed, and ask for my three top priorities. Today, I have to mail a rather large check, plant the flowers I bought yesterday, and meet up with my client, a well known professional sailor. I also have a call with my business coach, a photoshoot to organize, and I am co-hosting a graduation party for my daughter.

Last fall my daughter brought a friend home from college who commented after spending the weekend with us that I had raised my daughters to go out in the world and kick ass or don’t come home.

My younger daughter set the tone three days after the death traveling to Portland, Oregon to attend a soccer tournament and kicking in the winning goal to put her team in the finals.

The theme of the past three years has been strength, courage and determination. But this started years before when they were very small. As toddlers they spent weeks blowing bubbles from the steps in their swim lessons. Frustrated and concerned they would drown one day in the pool in our backyard I made myself unpopular when I picked them up and threw them both in the water in a very sink or swim type fashion. Of course they did swim, and they swam on teams all the way through to high school. I did the same thing on the mountain when I taught them to ski. I pointed them down the hill and said, “go” and they eventually learned to stop without crashing.

Tough love is not such a bad thing.

Love and blessings to all.

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