Photographer: Heidi Lender
Project: She Can Leap Tall Buildings
"I was in seventh grade in the 1970s when my mother went back to work. It was a traumatic event in my tween lifetime, returning from school to an empty house, my best friend suddenly absent with a plateful of priorities other than me. Mom played the roles of wife, mother, daughter, income-earner, independent-thinker, hostess, dinner-maker, family accountant, homework tutor and household organizer without a bat of her mascara’d eyelashes. Preoccupied with growing up, I was oblivious to this amazing juggling act. But from my adult woman perspective, it seems a heroic and near-impossible feat – not to mention a struggle. And, yet, mom did it in style. She never left the house without lipstick and liner, her hair teased and sprayed just so, and kept her standing appointment at the beauty parlor each Friday. My mother wasn’t perfect, but whether driving carpool, volunteering or planning trips, she played it all effortlessly, nary a complaint or sign of stress, and passed on her capabilities to me.
As I move through my own grown-up life with a mountain of responsibilities, I humbly nod to all the superwomen of the world, especially my mother, who amazingly do it all."