Posted by Leslie Richmond Simmons

Five Gerber daisies, wrapped in clear plastic and secured with a turquoise ribbon, lay on the back seat of my car as I drove to my initial visit with my first assigned "Mom." That was sixteen years ago.

I have always enjoyed getting to know each new mother; hoping she becomes comfortable with me as I watch her story unfold, and learn about what and who is valuable to her over the course of our year together.

Being a Lauren & Mark Rubin Visiting Moms® volunteer over these years has enabled me to meet young women of diverse backgrounds, sharing that first year of, perhaps, the most demanding, challenging, and creative work of their lives. I have had the opportunity to witness a new mom's mothering skills go from uncertain and hesitant to confident and appropriate, ultimately becoming completely at ease with her baby. My Rubin Visiting Mom experiences are some of my most colorful and treasured moments in my life. It is a program of great value, offering new moms a sense of purpose, possibility, and promise.

Leslie Richmond Simmons has been a mother, graphic designer, greeting card designer, silk screen printmaker, watercolor painter, writer, teacher, volunteer, and dog lover for many, many years. Leslie was a volunteer in the Lauren and Mark Rubin® Visiting Moms program for sixteen years.