My mother came down from Michigan when I had Penn in 2003. I sat on my donut pillow while she toted baby Penn around our tiny apartment. She held him the entire time. She talked to him constantly. She told him everything to the rhythm of her tiny hips, swaying her first grandson back and forth.
Penn was the first baby I ever experienced. I had never changed a diaper. I didn't even play with dolls as a little girl. But when my mother had to fly back to Michigan and handed me my little Penn, I picked up right where she left off. I carried baby Penn around and swayed and told him everything.
My parents divorced when I was young. My mother wasn't there every day with me. But in that one week of becoming a mother myself, with my own mother at my side, a torch was handed over and I was filled with confidence. I am so grateful for that moment.
I am lucky to have been so blessed with such a beautiful first born. Penn has ridden the ups and downs life has given us with an inner grace that can't be taught. He has helped me be a good mother to Margot and to Lucy, in a way I can't quite describe. He makes me a better person and he is so tolerant, even when I'm not.
Parents are the most important people in the world. It is strange to be one of those people.
I am surrounded by exquisite, fearless mothers. My mom, my beautiful mother in law and my friends are raising a substantial generation of loving, tolerant, strong and smart people.
It is the most important thing we will ever do.
I am so appreciative to all of the women in my life for being who they are and for standing with me as I figure out who I am.
These photos are from the book I made for Penn. Although our family dynamic has changed, it's still a really important piece to me. Click here to see the whole book.