09 Sep Meet Eileen! This Week’s Mom of the Week!
What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?
I have 3 children. Jack is 14; Dan is 12 ½; Molly is almost 11. They are at great ages right now! In the last year, traveling and taking them places has gotten so much easier and much more fun! They all love to have new experiences… although that doesn’t always mean they like the same new experiences. Dan is my food and adventure guy. He’ll eat anything, go anywhere and try anything. Molly is mostly a tomboy but also occasionally enjoys dressing up and going to a museum, shopping or out to a fancy lunch. Jack is more cautious about new things and less adventurous where food is concerned. Jack has Asperger’s Syndrome so any time he is willing to switch up a routine or try a new food or restaurant we encourage him and join in. I can honestly say I love doing anything with them that they are willing to do happily with me! Playing games, sports, getting froyo, grocery shopping (happily?), watching movies, baking, goofing around or having (occasional) serious talks about life or world affairs. We’re not perfect, but we do a great deal of laughing. My greatest wish for all of them is that they are happy – within themselves, with their choice of work and with the people with whom they choose to partner in life.
When and where are you the happiest?
This is a tough question. There really isn’t one geographical spot for me. It’s more about who I am with or how I am feeling. Being with my husband and children, in moments when we are all getting along well or we are all collapsing in laughter, that is when I often wish I could capture the moment and put it in a bottle like Harry Potter’s Liquid Luck. Sometimes I am completely happy and fulfilled after completing a grueling task. A few weeks ago I completed the Tough Mudder New England at Mt Snow in Vermont with a group of friends and I can honestly say that crossing that finish line together was one of the happiest and proudest moments I’ve ever had. The day was physically grueling and sort of ridiculously challenging on a mental level, but it was also hilariously fun and I can’t wait to do it again next year! It was the longest day but it was about pushing ourselves and supporting each other and we all made it through to the end (and the best beer of our lives.) Alone on a beach, on a kayak in the ocean, on a ski run, walking in the woods… all are places I’ve been incredibly happy as well. Looking back over what I’ve written here so far, I guess my point is that I find happiness in everything and nothing. I do think happiness is a choice. Connecting with others, or finding the rare moment to connect to my self and the world around me brings me peace and joy. I guess that is happiness.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
While I have travelled quite a bit around the US, I have yet to “need” a US passport! That will finally change next month when I accompany my husband to Paris on a business trip! My “if only” trip right now is Ireland. All four of my grandparents were born there and emigrated to the US. I would love an extended trip during which I could meet the legion of family members I know I have there, visit the beautiful historical and natural sites, learn more about the history and drink many pints of Guinness.
What quality do you most admire in a mother? And what woman has had the biggest impression on you?
Presence and Patience. Several of my teachers from my childhood and high school years and my children’s teachers top my list of admirable women. It is hard to name names for fear of leaving someone out! Dedication, drive and service are the qualities I believe are the most admirable. I also admire any mom of a child who is not neurotypical or is perhaps just quirky and accepts and celebrates that in their child. As a mom of a child on the autism spectrum, I know what it’s like to be the mom of the kid who sticks out, who makes a scene, who cannot seem to go with the flow. Sometimes it’s hard to be that mom. I am always in awe of Moms who handle these situations with kindness and calm.
What is your favorite book? Movie?
Whoa. This is tough… I feel like as soon as I hit “send” I’ll recall dozens of other favorites, but here goes. Movies: Dan in Real Life (if you haven’t seen it, you must.); The Godfather I and II; The Mission; Love, Actually; Fargo. Books: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen; Let the Great World Spin by Collum McCann; Anything by Flannery O’Connor or Andre Dubus, Jr., or Leif Enger (Please, write another novel already!!!)
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
Over the past two years I lost 40 pounds by finally getting my life in order, choosing to make food choices in line with my physical goals and joining a gym whose coaches, clients and program have helped me get a little better every day.
What do you feel is your strongest talent?
I have more endurance and more patience than I ever knew. Having 3 children in less than 3 ½ years and being a school teacher taught me that.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love to do anything with friends or my family from meeting for coffee, catching a movie, chatting after a work out or knitting group to weekend getaways with college friends or going indoor skydiving with the Boy Scouts! The fun is in the doing and the company.
What is your favorite time of the day and why?
I love the kids’ bedtimes. (I know, don’t we all! Especially when they are toddlers?!) But now that they are older, it’s a time to check in and they will often ask or share things they might have been loathing to say in front of the whole family. It’s a cuddly time… and I’ve recently become aware that the days of snuggling with Mommy at bedtime may be growing short.
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms? And what do you like to drink?
I love Metro Bis in Simsbury, CT; Barcelona in West Hartford and New Haven; and Max Downtown in Hartford; Feng in Hartford and Canton; and Char Koon in Glastonbury. I am extremely partial to Tanqueray & diet Tonic and dark ales and stouts.