Writing a book makes you appreciate your friends more. Working with my dear friend and co-author, I struggled with the heartbreaking topic we were researching, but I also felt the constant nearness in spirit of the mentors who had shaped our intellectual growth. When it came time to write the acknowledgements for our book, we knew that our deepest gratitude went to two women, both eminent scholars, whose work and lives inspire us. And, of course, we thanked our families for loving and encouraging us. Where would we be without our partners and our children?
Then, as I considered who else I might acknowledge in our book, I could not help focusing on the women whose friendship sustains me, even though we may rarely have discussed the book itself. These women are the amazing fellow academics and mothers who teach, research, nurture the people around them, struggle with the illusion of work/life balance, and are obsessed with pop culture and social justice. These are the women whose children play with my children or who share a hotel room with me at an academic conference. They made me laugh when writing the book made me cry, they are silly and profound. We get caught in the rain together in Montreal, cook together, and commiserate around roundtables. We discuss theory and methodology along side potty training and Ryan Gosling memes.
These women are from all over the world, from every walk of life. They are my soul mates because whatever I experience as an academic or a mother or a woman, they “get.” I am profoundly grateful for these fierce, fabulous women whether they realize they helped me during the writing of our book or not. So, while we are in this cultural moment of gratitude and one of them is sitting on my sofa next to me as our children dance, make music, and draw, I want to acknowledge them again for their friendship.
So, thank you, thank you, Leigh, Jessica, Stacie, Lori, Rosemary, Lindita, Ammina, and Robyn for absolutely everything. You are all my people.