Daughters Who Make the First Ladies Proud

| By Debra Kirby |

Mother’s Day is less than a month away.  Talking with a colleague and fellow mother recently, we both made the observation that the occasion has become less about honoring our own mothers (who are no longer with us), but about our daughters. Neither of us can recall when that focus changed for us, but we both agreed that we are happy to be mothers of beautiful, accomplished, caring daughters and that we survived the often challenging and sometimes turbulent teen years.

This conversation was fresh in my mind when I volunteered to review and update the overview article for Chelsea Clinton in Gale’s Biography In Context, which naturally led to thoughts of how much more challenging it would be to raise a daughter amidst the often unrelenting coverage of the presidential family. Former First Ladies Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama all successfully raised daughters under these conditions. Here are just a few examples that would make any mother proud:

  • In 2009, outgoing twin first daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush wrote a charming letter to the incoming Obama girls, Sasha and Malia, with heartfelt advice about living in the White House fishbowl.  Eight years later, they wrote a second letter about adjusting to a post-White House life. [Read the article]
  • Chelsea Clinton’s touching speech introducing her mother as the Democratic Presidential candidate at the DNC last summer is high on my list of favorite first daughter examples, but there are many more such moments and accomplishments from which to choose, including her advocacy work on behalf of the Clinton Foundation and other organizations and causes, and of course becoming a parent herself! [View all of the Chelsea Clinton resources available through Biography In Context]

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Large Print Books Mom Will Love

By Ginny Raye

When I was given this topic, I thought, “Oh, please . . . piece of cake.” I started thinking about the types of books that I love, because, hey, I’m a mom! Then I realized that, even though I love a good steamy romance (probably more than I should), my 91-year-old mother would be less likely to sit down to “50 Shades of Grey” and probably leans more toward Nora Roberts. She absolutely loved the Boonsboro Trilogy that I got her for Christmas last year. And it was in large print. Even better. Oh, there is some steam there, but it’s toned down to a small kitchen fire, unlike the five alarm, burning inferno that is my usual choice. Hmm . . . this assignment suddenly became harder than I thought.

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