I am the granddaughter of Eastern European peasant immigrants. I am the granddaughter of a single teenage mom who made the ultimate sacrifice, to ensure the well-being of all three of her daughters. I am the granddaughter of a four foot tall Italian fireball nicknamed ‘queenie’ who adopted her baby-girl, divorced her abusive husband (and by doing so her family, and religion ) and raised her daughter on love and canned vegetables.

I am the daughter of teenage hippies. I am the daughter of a single mom, Kindergarten teacher, cook for the wealthy who sacrificed personal life and free-time in order to raise her daughters on organic food and quality education. I am the daughter of a machanic, pot-smoking meditating wanderer who worked a forty hour week in four days so he could fly home and spend three days in a row with his young daughters.

I paid for college with government loans and house cleaning jobs. I traversed Great Britain alone and on foot. I hitchhiked through Costa Rica with two equally naïve female friends, forgetting to plan enough money for the one requisite bus-ride out of the jungle, and having to rely on the kindness of strangers in a never forgotten lesson in humility and proper planning.

I know how to pull an ill-managed business out of a downward spiral and into a profitable enterprise. I also know when to call it quits, how to protect the principals, and how to prepare for a final audit. I prefer to help a two-year-old master the art of categorization or a four-year-old learn to somersault.

It might not be glamorous but I am proud of who I am, of where I come from. I am proud of the strength and warmth and love and resiliance of my parents and grandparents. My father may have never graduated from college, but it was he who introduced me to Tolstoy, Gibran and unconditional love.