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The following is a guest post reprinted with permission from Julie A. Silver and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
By Julie A. Silver
On Mothersâ€™ Day, my wife Mary and I went on a hike at Will Rogersâ€™ State Park near our home in Los Angeles.Â We left our two year old home to nap, dropped off our nine year old for a horse-back riding lesson, then took the first hike weâ€™ve taken together in years. I was thirsty from the moment we ascended, but Mary shared her water with me and, as always, made me laugh along the way.
When we reached the top and took in that gorgeous 360 degree view of downtown LA, the magnificent mountains and the shining ocean, I thanked God for this place that supports our family: two working mothers in an interfaith marriage who arenâ€™t exactly spring chickens with two very young daughters. And interfaith isnâ€™t limited to our respective religions. Mary loves the Mets and I love the Red Sox. Mary loves camping and I enjoy clean sheets. Mary loves cats and Iâ€™m allergic. I could go on. The bottom line is that despite our differences, weâ€™ve built a life and filled it with kids, family, friends, fun and Iâ€™m exhausted just writing about it.
I also might be lying about being allergic to cats.
For the last 25 years, Iâ€™ve been a traveling singer/songwriter. I canâ€™t imagine doing anything else. My work requires both constant connections with people and long stretches of solitudeâ€”and let me tell you it isnâ€™t easy, but it is precisely this tension that pushes me forward in everything I do.
Mary Connelly has had a long and successful career in television and comedy and has been the Executive Producer of The Ellen DeGeneres Show since its beginning. Every day she walks with grace and confidence through an industry that is the polar opposite of mine. You know, a little gray hair and a few wrinkles around the eyes can kill a womanâ€™s career in Hollywood. In my world, gray hair gives you status. Wrinkles show youâ€™ve been laughing. Glasses mean youâ€™ve been studying. My people celebrate age and wisdom; not so much in the fleeting world of entertainment. But Maryâ€™s creative fingerprints are all over that show in its compassionate outreach and its sense of funâ€”like the woman herself, always of service to someone in need.
We also have amazing childcareâ€”women who take care of our daughters like they were their own when neither Mary nor I can be around. With that said, I like to say that Mary works Monday through Friday and I work Friday through Monday, but the truth is Mary is gone 12 hours a day during the week. Iâ€™m a full time Eema. My day is a mix of driving kids, writing, studying, practicing, taking care of my business, setting up play dates, singing to Katie, piano lessons, paying bills, managing the house, and fulfilling my deepest calling, being a â€śDance Mom.â€ť
When Iâ€™m away, Mary becomes a single parent. She does the errands, cooks, and takes care of our home and our daughters. While Iâ€™m out singing at synagogues across the globe, my Catholic wife drives Sarah to Hebrew School on Sundays. Sheâ€™s got to deserve something for doing that alone, right? Like a cat? Weâ€™ll see.
To be sure, Mary and I are together on this: We want our girls to be of service; to give of themselves and to embrace lifeâ€™s challenges. We want them to find loving partners who will climb to the top of the mountain beside them, share their water with them and make them laugh so hard they spit it out onto the trail. And when they get to the top, out of breath and exhausted, we want them to look around and love that view.
JulieÂ SilverÂ is one of the most celebrated and beloved performers in the world of contemporary Jewish music today. She tours throughout the world, and has been engaging audiences with her lyrical guitar playing, her dynamic stage presence, and her megawatt smile for over 25 years.Â SilverÂ lives in Southern California with her partner Mary Connelly, a highly successful Executive Producer and their delicious daughters, Sarah and Catherine.You can follow her on Twitter at @JulieAnnSilverÂ orÂ visit her website at juliesilver.com.