When I turned 13 we moved from the suburbs to living 10 minutes from downtown Dallas. My mom, a long time banker, worked in an office catty-corner from the landmark Neiman Marcus (which opened in 1914 after a fire destroyed the original building). It was at the corner of Main and Ervay where a working mom and her daughter built a tradition that is cherished by many a Dallasite. In those days it seemed like a secret club that required the famous Neiman Marcus credit card to enter and your gift was sample perfume bottles and a mascara.
On a recent trip home, my mom and I had the opportunity to walk down memory lane by dining in the timeless Zodiac room. We sipped consommé, savored buttery pop-overs with strawberry butter, and indulged in a box of warm chocolate chip cookies served in a fancy box. We then proceeded down through the various departments, eyeing gorgeous dresses, unique children’s toys, and finished up at the sprawling beauty department (where I couldn’t resist picking up a new mascara). The gold trimmed escalators, fresh flowers, super polite employees, and polished marble that sparkles everywhere brought back all of those feelings of cherishing the times I was able to skip school (or participate in take your daughter to work day) and head into town with my mom.
Now that I am a working mother of two, I understand trying to balance a career and spending time with my daughters. When they get excited about coming to the office with me it harkens the days I cherished getting to spend time with my mom at the office, meeting her coworkers and seeing her command a room of men selling a multi-million dollar finance package. I know she sacrificed for us to have a better life and missed out on picking us up from school at 3, but I don’t think I would trade these moments for the world.
As my girls get older I look forward to creating our own traditions that only a working mom can realize and finding our own Zodiac Room here in the heart of Austin.