They call my generation the “sandwich” generation. I am sandwiched between two women.
One recently moved to a different state, one thousand miles from where she had been living for nearly a decade. She joined a progressive community group and began volunteering at her local food pantry and clothing closet. In her spare time she takes tennis lessons and plays on a competitive team. She found the local farm in her urban locale that offers fresh local produce and buys there whenever she can, despite the fact that she does not own a car. She campaigned for Obama in the last election and regularly sends me political (and raunchy) emails.
The other woman recently moved to another country. She is living a fully bilingual life, functioning in a language she barely knew three months ago. She manages public transportation on a daily basis to do all she needs to do. She is attending a demonstration against censorship this weekend (I have the pleasure of being able to utter an awesome phrase: “have a great time and don’t get arrested!”), but must be back in time to attend a video interview with an Ivy League university. She’ll be back home in the United States next summer, but won’t spend much time living at home: she is already exploring opportunities for projects elsewhere.
These two women inspire and impress me. They both defy the stereotypes of what women their age might do. I am lucky and blessed to have them both in my life. And yes, in case you don’t recognize them from my description, they are my mother and my daughter.