For most of my career, I've had the privilege of leading interns.
I love the wide eyes of hope when they show up for the job - eager to gain experience.
I love that most of them will roll up their sleeves and work for little to no pay just to learn.
I love their fresh ideas and energy.
Over the years, I've worked with some incredible interns. I won't mention them all by name - but you know who you are.
I've also had the opportunity to hire several of them for paid positions. Those days are the best.
From Interns to "The Kids"
Several years ago, the Fight CRC communications team began to grow. My intern Shawna helped carve out a role, and when she transitioned to a different job, another intern, Andrew, jumped in.
Andrew became my partner in crime, travel buddy and a regular around the house. We spent several "paid" holidays together getting campaigns ready to launch. We often say we "get" one another - which is why our 3 p.m. dance breaks to the 90's song "Barbie Girl" never seemed odd to either one of us.
We welcomed Elizabeth to our team a little over a year ago. She came in with a positive attitude, sweet smile and an uncanny way of always arriving on time (or a little early).
And for the past year or so, we've been a dynamic trio.
Some days we were so busy, we barely looked up from our screens to talk. But when we did, we'd laugh and share funny videos. We'd catch up on each other's lives. We'd hunker down in my basement-turned-office and pour all of our skills into projects.
Over time, it didn't just feel like work. It began to feel like family.
I'd often find reasons to tell them stories from my past positions. There was never a shortage of "professional" advice, which they seemed to graciously receive.
One day I realized something:
Although they are 20-something young professionals, deep in my heart, I cared for them as though they were my kids.
As you've probably seen from my past blogs, I am transitioning out of my Director of Communications role at Fight CRC and settling into a consulting role with the organization instead.
I'm excited about stepping back, spending the summer with Mae and reducing my hours to recharge.
But one of the hardest parts of the transition has been leaving my role as the leader of our team. The impact of my decision weighed so heavily on me, I almost didn't go through with it.
But, I did officially make the decision. And this week we had our final day of working together at my house. We celebrated by eating donuts, going to lunch and exchanging gifts and cards.
It was sweet and special. Truth be told, I'm really going to miss this season.
Goodbye and Hello
As Mother's Day approaches this weekend, I can't help but think about these two.
When I struggled with accepting infertility and feared I'd never become a mom, I couldn't imagine my longing being fulfilled in any other way than practically raising a child.
But as I sit back and reflect over the past several years of leading "the kids," I see that a mother's heart often extends far beyond the walls of a home and branches of a family tree.
Mothers love, encourage, nurture and lead younger generations to experience all life has for them.
Moms create opportunities.
Mama bears dig in even when it's tough.
And, moms learn to let go.
Mothers know that life is a cycle that brings about seasons; one must end in order for another to begin.
But moms also know that when we find the courage to say "goodbye," another wonderful "hello" is oftentimes just around the corner.