Mother Daughter Love Notes: Blair and Anna

Here at Beautycounter, we count ourselves lucky to be surrounded by some of the most talented, inspirational, and well-rounded mothers out there. So, we decided to tap our Beautycounter pool of superwomen and asked five mother-and-daughter teams to interview each other. The answers made us laugh and cry.

Yesterday, we posted about Beautycounter CEO Gregg Renfrew and her young daughters Phebe and Georgie. Today, we have Blair Lawson (Beautycounter’s Head of Merchandising and Product Development and resident comedic relief), to ask her Virginia-based mother Anna about everything from pregnancy cravings to the best part of being a mom.

Mother's Day Blair Lawson

Anna Asks Blair

Anna – What is your favorite memory of us?

Blair – I remember sitting on your lap in the rocking chair in your room when I was hurt or upset, and you would sing “Rock A Baby In My Lap.” I was probably about the same age as [my daughter] Angie is now, so I think about that every time I comfort her. I also have fond memories of the beach—very vague, golden memories of the Cassena Inn on Pawleys Island. I remember driving in your blue Volvo, listening to the “Easy Listening” station—I still love those ’70s easy listening songs.

A – What’s the first word that pops into your mind when I say the word “mother”?

B – Kind!

A – Do you remember any words of advice that stuck?

B – You told me to protect my skin from the sun—and that if I did, my skin would be as beautiful as my grandmother Frances’ was. I sure do wish I had listened to you!

A – In what ways do you think we’re similar?

B – I see you in myself all the time—especially now that I have little kids. We are both organized control freaks, and we’re good at getting things done. We are both neat freaks! I learned from you how to keep it simple, stay focused, and avoid waste—whether that’s time, money, stuff. And we both cry easily—that one is new for me.

A – In what ways do you think we’re different?

B – I am more direct than you are—it’s easier for me to say what I think. You are more caring than I am—you have spent so much of your life trying to help other people and our environment and I never tried to do anything right for the world (until I joined Beautycounter!).

A – What is my best quality?

B – You are so kind and you really do care about other people and the world. And you have always been so supportive of me.

A – What is the best thing that I’ve cooked for you?

B – Tuna noodle casserole. I always loved that dish.

Blair Asks Anna

Blair – What pregnancy cravings did you have?

Anna – What I did NOT crave were coffee and wine. Even before I knew I was pregnant, I stopped drinking coffee and couldn’t stand the smell. What I did crave was vanilla ice cream and still do! Did you know I gained 40 pounds with Towles and 45 pounds with you? That was back in the day when you weren’t supposed to put on more than 20 pounds in the whole 9 months. My doctor was stunned (and very irritated), but I lost most of it right after delivery, and the rest within a couple of months!

B – Did you have any other names in mind when you were naming me? Why did you settle on my name?

A – We thought seriously of naming you Logan, my maiden name; but in the end we chose Frances Blair: my mother’s name (I was named for her mother who was named for her grandmother) and Blair, my mother’s grandfather’s surname.

B – What is your favorite memory of us together?

A – Drip castles on the beach, any beach—Pawleys Island, St. John, Figure 8. Still a big favorite. Why? Because we were still, with no agenda, could talk or not, and look at the ocean. Also up there: Running with you at St. John (you taught me how to do that, and were so patient when I could only go half as fast as you). Reading to you—we read the whole Narnia series (with Towles) when you were 3, and again when you were 5. Playing with the dogs, especially Bo, the summer he was born and probably the last summer you were home the whole time.

B – What is your hope for me?

A – For you to be happy and to know you really are special—I mean big-time special. I guess I (secretly) want all the world to know you’re exceptional, extraordinary.

B – What’s the best part of being a mom?

A – On a micro level, it would be nursing my babies! But in the bigger picture, it’s pride in you, delight in your parenting and intellect. I love being an audience to your wit and wonderful storytelling moments, and your fantastic ability to mimic (remember the dinner in NYC with the Rugabers when you were telling about the workmen who came to fix up the Gramercy Park Apartment? God, you were funny—I fell out of my chair laughing!) Just being around you—always interesting, fun.

B – What is the hardest part of being a mom?

A – Not giving advice. How long did it take me to realize that when I’d say, “Have you thought of doing it this way?” Or, “What about. . . .” what you heard is not a suggestion, but a criticism.

B – What does beauty mean to you?

A – Depends on the definition. I love your beauty: natural, graceful, elegant. And then there’s the perfect skin (tiny pores!) and the cheek bones and long slender legs. Should I go on?

B – What kind of woman did you envision me becoming? 

A – What you are! I see an excellent mother (patient yet with high expectations), a brilliant intellectual, an extraordinary professional, and most of all, someone who embodies my two top values: curiosity and compassion. And oh yes, you married that cool guy whom we really adore (and who is unfailingly nice to me, his mother-in-law).

B – What’s on your mother’s day wish list? 

A – That we are together as much as possible (especially without my “advice.”)

B – Is there anything that you wish you had done differently?

A – Slowed down, spent more time without a schedule or agenda.