adventure, courage, letting go, love, parenting, passion

The Bravest Girl I Know

maddi fairy

Later this week, my daughter and I hit the road as I accompany her toward the next chapter of her adventurous life.

Maddi, who just turned 20, has decided to spend her summer working on an organic farm in Colorado. The trip will take us 13 hours, if we don’t stop. But we will. I want it to last.

This only child of mine, this brave, intelligent, bold and beautiful woman is my favorite person to be with. She’s funny, sensitive, insightful and has always been wise beyond her years.

This spirit of adventure that she possesses burns in her like a fire, and she takes on experiences like no one I’ve ever been.

Shortly after high school, she signed her first apartment lease.  Later the next year, she took a five week road trip all over the country with her best friend. She camped on the beach, she talked to strangers, she wandered unknown towns and cities, deserts and shores. She saw, firsthand, beauty I’ve only seen in photos.

Earlier this year, she saved her money, got a passport, and followed her heart across the ocean, to meet her British beau who she had only known previously online. She spent two weeks in the UK, returning home with London calling, new experiences morphed into new dreams and desires.

She bravely makes art. She bravely makes money making art.

She is a gentle spirit but is not one to be taken advantage of. She is sweet, but no pushover. She is a Taurus, and stubborn as hell when she wants to be, and will buck and fight hard for her convictions. This is the child after all, who at age eight, wrote her dad and I an essay on why she wanted to be a vegetarian after months and months of our meat-loving resistance.  She has been a vegetarian ever since.

She has a sense of self that has surprised me since she was a tiny girl. It’s always been there, strong and sturdy, even through some challenging times during her adolescence, even while some of her peers struggled in frightening, heartbreaking ways. Even when her house was split in two, and she learned how to have two beds, two homes, she’s faced it all with courage.

She’s wild and tender, she’s fire and water.

She faces the world with curiosity, openness, willingness, boldness, and her heart in the shape of a big fat YES.

I want to be more like her.

As I think about her embarking on this new chapter, one full of mysteries and unknowns, bravely walking away from what is safe and familiar– her job, her friends, her parents, the only hometown she remembers, to see what is out there for her, my eyes well with tears.10264893_1442653222639366_400777618122208778_n

Of course I worry, like any mama, I worry a lot. But mostly, I champion for her. My heart pounds for her, my prayer is that the world will treat her gently and kindly, and if they do not, she can turn back around, she can change direction, she can try something new, she can always come home, she can always change her mind.

I hope her dad and I, and the people who love her, have instilled in her the tools and traits she needs out there, I think we have.

But funny thing is, I am who I am for the tools and traits she’s instilled in me.

Maddi, I’m rooting for you. Go be wild. Be brave. See it all. Taste it all. Feel it all. The world awaits you.


  1. What a beautiful tribute! I suspect Maddi is all the wonderful things she is because nobody ever told her she couldn’t be. And because bravery, kindness, beauty and adventure were modeled to her by her parents. 😉 She is intentionally creating her life in a marvelous way, and setting a brilliant example for young women.

    And I am rooting for you too, Maddi! Go shine your beautiful light. The world NEEDS you.

  2. What an amazing, inspiring young woman! You go, Maddi! Best wishes on your new adventure.

  3. Lisa, this is absolutely beautiful. Your words about your daughter made me tear up. You are an amazing mother and an inspiration to me to be the same kind of mother to my daughter and my son who are so little but quickly growing into their own.

    Enjoy your adventures Maddi! Good job Momma!

    • toni thanks so much! yes they grow SO fast, i’d love to turn back the clock if i could, but i wouldn’t really change anything. i’d just be more present and soak in every little detail, mindfully and fully there. it would be nice to tuck her in again, i miss that the most! now i’m tearful! 🙂

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