A few weeks ago, my daughter and I had a bit of a girls’ day. It wasn’t really intended to be, but just kind of turned into one… and in more than just the sense you might be thinking of.

We started the morning by going to get our hair cut. Our stylist has cut my hair for a little more than ten years and has provided my daughter with every trim she has ever had. She has literally watched her grow up. When we arrived and settled in to the routine, I took a moment to breathe in the scene that has played out in salons across the country forever – women laughing about husbands, cringing over tales of bad perms, lamenting our children growing up way too fast… you know what I’m talking about. I looked at my daughter indulging in the feeling of the stylist massaging her scalp, and I felt such joy in her being a part of the experience. It wasn’t the hair trim or even the heaven that is getting your hair washed; it was the transition from being a child merely getting her hair cut to a young lady being a part of the tradition of women bonding in this way.


{it really is more than just a haircut, don’t you think?}

We made a couple of other stops – the bike shop, the library – before we grabbed a little bite to eat at my favorite coffee shop. It’s owned by a woman who used the Small Business Development Center (years before I even knew it existed) to help her get started. This woman knows me as a regular customer who really loves a hot La Dolce Vita (decaf if it’s after noon – my partying days are long over, people!), but I know her as an inspiration as well as a purveyor of really tasty caffeine. I imagine her coffee shop was just a dream at one point – something that seemed far away. And maybe she had her doubts about whether it would come to be; I don’t know… But anyway, here it is now: a staple in our community, a welcoming place to grab a cuppa with friends (or your daughter), a venue to listen to live music, and an office away from home. You can tell she makes business decisions based on what’s important to her, and you can see her message everywhere you look in the shop – from the atmosphere, to the people she hires, to the food she provides, to encouraging composting/discouraging waste. Everything is on purpose, and seems so true to who she is. I so admire it.


{try the new Nordic Waffles; they’re Hansen approved.}

I’ve been thinking about the dots of that morning and connecting them over the days since. There was something profound there that went unnoticed by my daughter, and I was touched. These women –  and so many others – doing what they love surround my daughter. They’re just a part of her existence, providing a model of what is ahead and who she can become, no matter what she decides that will be. It is amazing that my daughter gets to grow up in a world where success for a woman means whatever SHE deems it to be, instead of the narrow definition that I held for much of my childhood. (I didn’t know what successful women did all day, but I knew it involved pencil skirts and riding the Metra train Downtown with socks and tennis shoes over tan pantyhose.) I hope she grows up knowing that success can be defined a million different ways, depending what’s in your heart and what’s important to you.

And I’m so proud to be a piece of that – modeling for her that you can go after whatever crazy dream you come up with.


Tell me something that you’re proud to be modeling for a kid in your life! Could be a project they see you working on, a passion you let them them follow with you, or anything really! And don’t be humble–all of us have pieces of ourselves we’re happy to be passing along to the next gen! Comment below and I’ll send you a free PDF file of my “non school days rules for electronics” so you can keep those kiddos moving toward their goals (and not staring at screens. As much.) Be sure to include your email address in your comments!


4 thoughts on “designing a life

  1. I am proud to be modeling never to settle, that good is the enemy of great!
    We have one life to live!
    I also love showing my son how to treat people, with dignity and grattitude, no matter how busy life is!

  2. I happy to show my daughter to be tough, fearless and independent. To be anything she wants no matter how many times someone tells her no, she can’t do it. She’s only two but I see so much of myself in her.

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