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Wonder Women

by Erica Bauwens
On my 23rd birthday, my mom very quietly looked over at me and said, “This is the only time in our lives when you’ll be half my age.” I don’t think it meant much to her, but to me it was a battering ram. See, I’m the youngest of three, all born within 16 months of each other. As I celebrated my first day as an unmarried, childless 23-year-old, I tried to imagine how differently my mom must have felt 23 years earlier, the same age as me but with a mountain of responsibility that I couldn’t possibly imagine.

Despite being practically a child herself, my mom gave my brothers and me a childhood that I can’t put into words. Whether it was days spent at our favorite playground—Bob Meyer Park in Medford—nights nursing us back to health or the countless runs back and forth to Parkway School in Mount Laurel to drop off something one of us inevitably forgot, she was just always there. I’ve never known a life where I couldn’t depend on her, and I don’t take that for granted.

This month is a great reminder to celebrate the women in our life—like my mom—who inspire us. Our Women of the Year have overcome some of the darkest moments to help others, while others have dedicated their careers to community service. Speaking with these women has showed me that it really does take a village—of strong, empowering women—to turn South Jersey into the community we love so much.

From Our Family to Yours,
Erica Bauwens
Managing Editor, Suburban Family Magazine

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 3 (May, 2016).
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