This month we celebrate “Action Figures.” It occurs to me, though, as I scramble from one activity to the next, while adding yet more and more to my iPhone calendar, that we’re all action heroes, really. And while most of us are women of action, in this issue we honor two groups of action figures in particular: women veterans and mothers. In a special section beginning on page 34, we highlight a number of Lake Norman women who, through their military service to our country, fought to protect our freedoms. We owe them all a tremendous debt.
We owe our mothers the same, of course. It amazes me as I think back to my childhood how different parenting is now. Our parents didn’t try to create a perfect playland for us, nor did they spend their leisure time organizing and supervising our activities. Back then, women smoke and drank during pregnancy. (My mother-in-law says she even had a cocktail with the doctor in the hospital after delivering my husband.). We didn’t have playdates; we took off into the neighborhood on our bicycles, without helmets, to play with other kids. My mother would go so far as to warn us not to come home any time soon. If we got thirsty, we found a garden hose and drank from it. Our mothers didn’t worry about fructose, trans fats, or calories—and a T.V. dinner was a hearty meal (It did come with a vegetable-like substance, after all!). Our seatbelts were our parents’ forearms, and our sunscreen, once we had burnt our skin to a lobster-red crisp, was a white t-shirt that I’m pretty sure did absolutely nothing except get in the way of our ability to drown or maim our siblings in a game of chicken.
I can hear some of you younger mothers gasping in horror, but believe it or not, they did love us—they just didn’t worry a lot. They didn’t have the Internet so they were blissfully unaware of the horrors of drinking out of a hose or fighting to the death with your brother while perched on the less-than-steady shoulders of your cousin, unsupervised in three feet of water.
Today, we never stop parenting. With good intentions, we try to stop every accident and fix every problem before it occurs. There’s no doubt a fine line between safety and independence, and I can’t argue that there weren’t times as a child that my well-being was in jeopardy (the time I curled up in an inner tube and barreled down a hill into the path of a busy road comes to mind). However, I fear that when we constantly remind children to fear the worst that can happen, we cause them to doubt themselves and to be anxious. I see this firsthand with my son, who recently got his learner’s permit. In my generation, this life-defining moment caused anxiety in the parents, not the teens. However, it is not an emergency brake pedal I need to quell my fears—it’s an emergency gas pedal. This ever-cautious child of mine would never dare exceed the speed limit or run a yellow light, which is good, of course. But as we trod along at a pace slightly faster than the speed of snail, I worry that perhaps I’ve been a bit too protective.
My mom’s greatest gift to me was allowing me to take action: to have adventures as well as blunders, the occasional rebellion as well as the opportunity to defend my position (albeit mostly unsuccessfully), and moments of boredom along with healthy doses of solitude. And though it might not be easy, it’s very possible that we might reduce our own stress levels—and create future adults who are independent and maybe even more fun loving in the process—if we take some notes from our own moms.
We always want to know about our LKN community! These are recurring features; see how many LKN people you could recommend.
Do you know a…
We want to know!
A WOTM has just moved into the LKN community, earned a new certificate or degree, or received a promotion or award…something like that.
Send us the WOTM’s name, where she works and her title, her email address, and in 1-3 sentences, tell us the news. WOTM entries are not advertisements. We will not include “for more information.” As Dana likes to say, “Just the facts, Ma’am.”
If you think you know a WOTM but aren’t sure, assume she is! Send us her information.
We celebrate the guys, too! Email us and tell us why your husband is fantastic. We feature these great guys in our February issue, but the sooner we know about him, the better!
These days, the definition of family has evolved. Throughout the year, and particularly in September, we like to share family stories. So, whatever yours looks like–if it works, shout it out! Of course, if you know another successful LKN family, who just happens to be slightly left–or right–of center, we want to know about them, also!
Work teams of mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, granddaughter, aunts, all relations!
We ask school and community leaders for recommendations, but if you know an outstanding LKN girl, age 10-18, to nominate for our June issue, please do. Girls are selected by a committee, based on the details of the nomination (so be thorough! We need a little more than “excellent grades,” please.). Include her parental contact information, if possible.
If you think you know an amazing LKN girl but aren’t sure, assume she is! Send us her information. But we’d like her parental contact info, too, please.
We love to tell the survivor and success stories of women who’ve triumphed over domestic violence, breast cancer (any cancers), rape, and other injuries and situations. Tell us with whom we should talk; tell us whose voice should be the one to convince other LKN Women they are survivors, too!
This one is a little more involved, but don’t shy away. Each December we have a Woman of Will Awards Luncheon. If you know a woman who qualifies (in your opinion is just fine!), please nominate her today. You do need to formally nominate her. If you’re not ready to complete the application, go ahead and send us an email and let us know. We can nag you to complete your nomination by the due date.
Bring it on! Tell us whom you believe would make a fantastic LKNW feature and why, in 100 words or fewer. Please include contact information. We may not reply to every recommendation, but we will read them.
*Any story idea sent in to us is considered our property. You are giving it to us.
If we can’t get it in print, we can still help you promote it.
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