Saturday, May 10, 2008

Different paths

Picture it: two women, hugging and crying in a hotel ballroom at the end of a gala event. Most of the guests have gone, and around them the staff are gathering up discarded cloth napkins.

Both are dressed up all fancy.
Both are well-loved researchers and mentors.
One is mother of three grown children, one of four.
One has received a big award that evening and is about to start a new job heading a prestigious program at another university. One takes summers off and works when she wants to.
One is still married, the other not.

Both are my teachers.
Both have held torches that lit the path of my transition to motherhood. Both have shown me how working mothers make the workplace better, how parenting makes you wise and responsible and your research richer.

After watching their embrace, I learn that they also trained together and had their kids together during their training. Through her tears, one said to me, we just took different paths, Nora. We just took different paths.

Here's to Mother's Day, and to path-lighters everywhere.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a wonderful Mother's Day Lesson.

Happy Mother's Day!

Mrs. G. said...

Happy Mother's Day Bubba's mama.

ellen said...

Oh, Nora..we all take different paths, don't we?
This is such a beautiful tribute to those women who led you. Your words and sentiment give such tribute to them, and tell me so much about what a wonderful woman, mother and person you are. And who can separate all of those parts?
I truly feel that your post is so life I am, closing in at the end, still questioning who I am and who I was.
That sounds a bit conflicting, but your words help me to appreciate all that we do as mothers, mentors and women. Thank you.

LaskiGal said...

What a lovely tribute!!!

Happy Mother's Day!

Domestically Challenged said...

How lovely!

Thanks for popping over!

Vanessa said...

What a beautiful post and reminder how different our lives can be depending on our choices. Hope you had a Happy Mother's Day.

Childlife said...

Beautiful story, Nora -- can't wait to continue reading where your path leads!

LOVE your new header, BTW! :)

maggie, dammit said...

mmm, and there are so many different paths....

Lovely sentiment.

HRH said...

Thank goodness we can chose our own path.

painted maypole said...

what a great moment, these two women. thanks for sharing

JCK said...

Here's to path lighters! It sounds like you have some amazing mentors.

I hope you had a special Mother's Day, Nora!

Jennifer said...

I love that there are so many paths. What a lovely post.

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