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Herein lies a complicated relationship – mothers and daughters.  As I look back on the relationships of my Mom and her Mom, me and my Mom and my daughter and myself – there is a common thread that repeats itself through the generations. The evolution of this relationship has MANY phases of development which can best be summarized by three phrases:

“I want to grow up to be just like Mommy!” Those big blue eyes study you putting on your make-up or stirring cake batter or playing the piano. To you, they are routine, mundane daily activities – but to her, they are like magic.  You can see her little wheels turning as she studies and mimics your every move and asks a million questions.  Wearing a party dress and ribbons in her hair while clomping around in your high-heels – she is a princess. Dancing and twirling on the stage in her recitals or singing a choir solo – she is an angel. Splashing water “fireworks” in the pool to a symphony of music – she is a mermaid.  She is full of hopes and dreams and unconditional love.

“I will NEVER be like my Mom!!” Adolescent angst and tears sometimes stream from those big blue eyes these days. Hormones surge, rebellion bubbles to the surface and staunch independence replaces loving admiration. A battle of wits and wills can overshadow even the simplest of issues.  Arguments and disagreements can be exhausting – thankfully, they are not the entire norm. We both look forward to the quiet times when we can capture a bit of the magic of days gone past – shopping for a prom dress, going to Disneyland, Christmas morning, reading Harry Potter together in bed… “School daze” fogs her mind and tempers clash, but somehow we survive it all. The hopes and dreams and unconditional love are, ultimately, our salvation.

“I never thought I would say this, but you were right all along” (A.K.A. I sound just like my Mom!) Those words are the ultimate high for any Mom to hear! There eventually comes a time when all of the personal investment, support and love kicks in and your daughter reaches the level of maturity that allows her to see the merit in your relationship. Once again, she asks for and appreciates your opinion and remembers all the advice and mentoring that you shared with her over the years.  She shares insight and perspective with you as a woman who has come into her own. The doors open again to bonding, learning from each other and genuinely enjoying each other’s company. Watching her graduate, celebrating her job promotions and recognitions, planning her wedding and sharing a Spa Day all bring joy and love to our relationship.  Your princess, your angel, your mermaid – all grown up.  Her big blue eyes are, once again, full of hopes and dreams and unconditional love – just like mine.

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SPLASH! Make one every day.

True encouragement lies in recognizing and celebrating the uniqueness of an individual.  Our children sometimes find pathways that we had almost nothing to do with as a parent.  In this, lies their true self. Although it is much easier to encourage them in the direction that you have chosen for them, it is true love to encourage and respect their own path, even when it diverges from your personal vision.

In our son’s case, he has found and developed quite an affinity and artistic talent for photography and has forged out to pursue it on a semi-professional level (business cards and all). This evolution from a hobby to a passion has been inspiring and exciting to watch. He has found an artistic niche that supplements his income, yet still is pursuing his academic goals (what more could a mother ask for?).

He has a website sampling of his photography and metaphoric interpretations that is quite beautiful and introspective.  We hope you will take the time to visit (and enjoy) his site (http://misaacsspeak.tumblr.com/).



Everyone has dreams and goals. We all appreciate it when others sincerely support our efforts and encourage us. Everyone has their ups and downs.  We appreciate it when others stop to help us as best they can.  These concept are SO SIMPLE, yet we often find the execution so difficult.  Maybe it is the distraction of day to day responsibilities or being absorbed in our own issues – but often, it takes an extra effort to break away from our self-centered existence and draw a line to another dot in our family-tree.

We can support each other in many different ways.  There is moral support when someone is feeling down; emotional support if they have suffered a loss or blow; or financial support to take some pressure off another as you are able.  We can also encourage our family members by attending their games, performances and events; recognizing their talents and abilities; bragging about them; and providing infrastructure and opportunities to succeed.  Again, obvious concepts that often take a conscious effort on our part to execute.

One of my personal regrets is that I did not ackowledge or take enough of an active interest in my Mom’s compositions and posts.  She was quite the avid writer and always wanted to share her works with me, but there was always something in the way – work, kids, laziness.  Only after her passing, did I take the time to read every post and manuscript to see her talent and passion for the written word.  Too little, too late – I never got to tell her how much I enjoyed them and she never had the satisfaction of seeing me appreciating her effort.  However, it did teach me a lesson about the importance of not letting future opportunites with the rest of my family go down the same sad path.

Our family has MANY stories of encouragement and support that I will share as time goes on.  The first was years in the making and will likely be appreciated by those of you who have experienced the evolution of a GARAGE BAND…


This is the first in the series of stories which illustrate the role of encouragement and support in keeping a family strong and connected.

As young teens, my brothers and some friends had an affinity to music and aspired to be Rock Stars.  At first presentation, this sounds so simple, but in execution the logistics can be problematic.  First, you need some financial backing for instruments and possibly lessons and associated equipment.  Then, you need a secure place to store it all; vehicles to haul it all.  Worst of all, you need a TOLERANT place to practice – loudly and repetitively!

My parents met this hierarchy of needs – even to the point that they had no functional “garage”, so a den in the house had to be sacrificed.  Just think how annoying that must have been – but it was done with love and support in their heart.  I was away at college during this time, so I was spared.  I suspect at their young age, the band members did not really appreciate the sacrifices being made – but the privileges were given freely without expectation of appreciation.  The goal was to help them succeed in their dream. Many years passed, as did band names, members and enthusiasm. But, every time the phoenix arose from the ashes, my parents were in support.

Recently, The Roof Rats have come upon a successful mix of members and have been playing local gigs for real money.  The success of today is linked to the support of the past. As a result, we have all become more connected. We show up for just about every performance and talk them up everywhere we go.  Dad beams like a light-bulb as he watches his sons’ dreams become a reality and has great pride in their talent and accomplishments. Mom is doing the same from her cloud in the sky, I am sure.