Be the High Tide

Momservation: Raising the best children isn’t a competition—it’s our gift to society.

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A while back I went to a book signing to support my then boss, mentor, and friend Maria Shriver. It was for her fifth book — AND ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU GO…. When I gave her my copy to sign I teased her: “You’ve got your fifth book out before I’ve gotten my first! You need to slow down and wait for me!”

But she didn’t laugh. She looked me dead in the eye and said, “It’s not a competition.”

Ouch.

But that’s why I’ve always liked Maria. She doesn’t mince words and she doesn’t RSVP to pity parties. She gets straight to the take-away message and has little patience for excuses. She believes each person should be the high tide that raises all boats. She inspires by example.

When Maria first hired me in 2004 she asked me when I would find the time to write for her. I was excited to report that with both my kids now in preschool I would have…drumroll…Three uninterrupted hours three days a week! All the time in the world!

“Who are you kidding?” Maria scoffed. “You won’t get any writing done then.”

Uh oh.

But then she went on to say, “I remember when Christopher was in kindergarten last year. By the time you drop them off, get your coffee, pick up your dry cleaning, run the errands that you can’t do with kids in tow…your three hours is gone. That’s why I do my writing at night when the kids are in bed.”

“You’re right,” I conceded. “I’ll still be writing at 2 a.m.”

Once we got that settled I was hired. The First Lady of California was my first freelance client.

Maria had found me because she read my article about her (Not Just a Mother, Inside Arden, July 2004). As a journalist she didn’t see me as competition. She saw me as comrade in literary arms, a sorority sister in motherhood, a writer worth mentoring in the name of paying it forward.

Wow.

Maria announced today she is going back to her journalistic roots and passion. She’s going to be a special anchor at NBCUniversal as she continues to adapt, grow and thrive in each of the new chapters of her life.

Though she faced challenges in the last few years that could’ve stranded her in the shallows, through her works of service and highlighting the contributions of others on MariaShriver.com, Maria never stopped being the high tide.

Amazing.

Said Maria of charging back to the forefront of reporting news, “I am grateful that my new role at NBC News allows me the freedom to continue working on outside projects — books, films, events, public appearances — and follow my voice and my interests wherever they may take me.”

High. And we shall rise with her.

In the spirit of being a high tide I wanted to endorse these fellow writers I’ve met along my own journey who deserve any and all success that come their way. Because it’s not a competition. It’s a support system:

Chase McFadden, Some Species Eat Their Young blogger. Twitter bio: “My four kids say I’m the best dad they’ve ever had. Like they’d know any better. 9th place ribbon husband to a trophy wife. Writer, blogger, derelict.”

Janine Caldwell, Young Adult author. Twitter bio: “YA Author of The Vortex Series. REMATCH, DOUBLE FAULT, DEUCE. Secret drummer & avid reader.”

Chrissy Scivicque, Eat Your Career writer and career coach. Twitter bio: “Creator of EatYourCareer.com, contributor to @USNews. Helping people discover professional nourishment. Is your career leaving you hungry?”

Karin Diamond, Eyes Peeled Always blogger. Twitter bio: “Writer/editor/social media and communications specialist blogging about adventures as a young adult cancer survivor living with – and beyond – disease.”

Roni Teson, Writer and Novelist. Twitter bio: “Author of Heaven or Hell, breast cancer survivor, living a life completely transformed.”

4 comments

    • kellimwheeler says:

      Thanks Janine! My greatest success has been being able to do what I love and be here for my kids. As long as I can keep doing that I’m happy!

      Enjoy the journey!

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