There are people around us who light up rooms when they enter. I may not be one of those people, but Katie is. When I first interacted with her, I found her to be magnetic. As time went on and we became friends, I realized that she was also making everyone else feel this way. Katie is a warm, welcoming person. She likes to smile. She likes to laugh. She likes to give out compliments. Frankly, it makes her a joy of a person to be with. That’s how we all feel.
What I have learned about Katie over the last decade and a half is that she is also purpose-driven. She strives for excellence as a teacher, a friend, and a mother. She is deeply empathetic and it shows through her caring interactions with students and her commitment to continual kindness as a mother.
Katie grew up in the middle of the country in a factory town. She and her twin sister were the first in their family to graduate from college. Since before I knew her, she was pushing herself into uncomfortable situations and challenging herself to adopt new viewpoints. This is also how I have seen her approach to parenting as well. She could have parented in the same manner as she was parented. But she has charted her own path. Her style as a mother is characterized by affection, empathy, guidance, and respect. She loves every aspect of being a mother and, honestly, I have never witnessed someone do it better. I feel pretty lucky to get to be a parent with her.