“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.”– Amelia Earhart
It is only fitting that I am writing this editor’s note on International Women’s Day, as this Spring/Summer issue of PURIST is about empowered women and the children we are raising today. I have known cover photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank since she photographed me for her first book, American Beauty, a decade ago, and I have observed her keen, irreverent eye brilliantly capture different aspects of society since then. Raised on her family’s vineyard in Napa Valley, Claiborne is as authentic, organic, and inspirational a voice as I have ever heard or seen (in her images). She’s also a great mother. A true purist.
It was a natural choice to showcase her celebration of mothers from her new Assouline book, Mother and Child, on our cover and inside the issue. These images serve as a metaphor for Mother Nature and the divine feminine, which is an underlying theme for many of the stories in this issue. The women in this feature express that women can do it all—have a family and a professional life at the same time; maintain relationships and friendships; and commit to advocacy, activism and most importantly, to raising well-balanced, mindful, socially conscious children.
Our story on how parents are trying to raise children in today’s world—with a focus on being better grown-ups—is equally inspiring. My own mentor, my mother—who worked as one of the first female brokers on Wall Street (for Paul Allen), then ran her own telecommunications business, all while raising two daughters—today focuses on advocacy work and leads a movement in preservation of policy and tradition in her town. She always demonstrated that possibilities are limitless for women as dreams are made, not imagined.
Fathers, too, are instrumental in the positive development of their children. The more engaged fathers are, and the more they try to instill confidence, positivity and coping skills in their kids, the better chance at a prolific and positive future a child has. Even in my own family, I love to watch my husband and son throw the baseball, but what’s even better is watching him help my son to learn coping strategies for all the different curveballs life throws his way.
As Steve Jobs said, “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”