I had the oddest experience this morning. I had agreed to be on the Laura Ingraham Radio Show with my 16 year old daughter to talk about using an image consultant to help my daughter find her fashion style. If you're a loyal Huffington Post reader, chances are good that you're not a follower of right-wing zealot Ingraham. But I agreed to do the show because it was about moms and daughters, a topic on which there's no political epicenter, and because my daughter was participating in the interview. Another life lesson for her.
Minutes before we were to go on this far right program, I got word that my friend Amy Coen was in the ICU following surgery for recently-discovered ovarian cancer. I met Amy in the late 1980s when she headed Planned Parenthood of Chicago and I was a consultant to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Amy was beautiful, smart, talented, and funny. She embodied the liberal thinking and advocacy which has given my life meaning. I worked for her more recently at Population Action International (PAI) which she leads and where she has remained true to her belief that women make good choices in their lives.
In an instant, my two worlds collided -- talking to a woman known for her contempt of liberals and praying for a woman who proudly describes herself as one. By my side -- my daughter who has yet to define her grownup self but shows every sign of being a compassionate, brilliant person. I realized as the interview began that our political views define only a small portion of our selves. Am I a "liberal" mom? Probably not, at least not when it comes to smoking or drugs or sex or drinking or staying out late. Am I a "liberal" friend? No, just one who tries really hard to love and forgive and comfort.
The interview with Laura Ingraham went well. She was funny and smart and even mentioned my HuffPost blogs. Amy is still in the ICU, hopefully gaining strength with every minute that passes. I'm guessing that these two women will never meet because their ideologies are so different. But if the three of us ever did get together, I'd ask them both to talk about their children. This common ground would undoubtedly produce the same tone of pride, joy and limitless possibilities expressed by mothers the world over. Today labels were irrelevant to me, at least for a little while, and I'm better off for it.
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