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Amanda came to visit Jeff and I in Washington DC for the 1st time when she was 4 years old. She and her sister Jennifer walked into the room and it was obvious within seconds how much they adored their Uncle Jeff. Amanda was this wide-eyed bundle of inquisitive, outspoken, shy, bold, hesitant, eager, bossy, passionate little girl. Both girls were very curious about this new man who had just recently come to live with their beloved uncle, but within a few days I was able to win them over. They thought I was funny, played cool music and loved the way I cut and blew out their hair.
The years passed and the girls continued to come visit and now brought their hometown girlfriends with them. Visits full of laughter and pre-teen emotion as Jeff and I attempted to show these girls the value in recognizing their own talents and individual beauty. Embracing authenticity. That there’s more on the menu than chicken fingers. The magic of dancing in the mirror with your friends.
Over the past 30 years we’ve watched Amanda’s independence, strength and determination grow. Achieving her dream of living in New York City. It became my turn to learn and be inspired by Amanda’s powerful emotional instinct for the welfare and education of children as their teacher. People often tell Jeff and I we should have had children and I tell them we always have…