To Mothers Of Daughters Everywhere
This post is about working mothers and their daughters.
You may know Karen E. Wagner as the co-founder of Lustre. Her friends know her as a tenacious litigator, a world traveler, a vibrant fashionista.
I know her best as my mother.
I remember walking with her to elementary and middle school each morning. I remember competing feelings of pride and terror the first time I embarked on that journey alone--and her telling me she had the same feelings. I remember treks across the Brooklyn Bridge, among hordes of tourists, for picnics in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I remember Saturday morning trips to the Union Square farmers market where we bought bags of green stuff. I remember her watching while i drew pictures by flashlight on my bedroom wall--yes, the paint was made for that--during many blackouts. I remember falling asleep to my mother’s voice reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie or The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.
I will always hold these memories of my childhood close to my heart. However, these are not the only memories I cherish.
I remember watching my mother walk down the steps of the courthouse after a long day. I remember after one argument paparazzi ran after her, and the next day her photo appeared in all the Argentinian newspapers. I remember helping decorate her corner office, and meeting the other female partners on her floor. I remember staying up way past my bedtime to help serve food at fundraisers for up-and-coming politicians. I remember meeting a warm-hearted and passionate man after his exoneration and release from eighteen years in prison for a crime he did not commit, and his warm appreciation of my mother.
I treasure these experiences too.
The memories I have of celebrating victories in court are just as significant to my growth as an ambitious young woman as getting tucked in to bed at night.
To all the working mothers of the world: you cannot do it all. There will be moments when you won’t be home for dinner because client s demand that you rewrite the brief, and there will be moments when you cannot network because a business event is the same night as middle school graduation. But, despite the inevitable frustration, and exhaustion, you are doing your daughters an unparalleled service. There is no better way of demonstrating the limitless power and determination of women than to do it yourself.
Sara is Karen’s daughter.