Home Local Voices Transition, Work & Motherhood: “I’ll Be Right There…”

Transition, Work & Motherhood: “I’ll Be Right There…”


Ed: Sydney Chaney Thomas is a Moraga-based writer and businesswoman with three books to her name, all currently available on Amazon. She is also co-founder of a sustainable sailing apparel company called Ocean SF, and operates a nonprofit that works to reduce plastic waste called the The Trident Project.

Sydney teaches entrepreneurial marketing at UC Berkeley in their International Diploma Program and, in addition to this column, she writes a popular lifestyle blog, which can be found at sydneychaneythomas.com.

Transition, Work & Motherhood
Moraga, Calif. 
May 5, 2018

It’s been a time of transition for me and one of the major milestones of this year has been having my daughter away at college.

As I was driving over the beautiful Bay Bridge I got the dreaded phone call. A call not preceded by numerous text messages usually spells a car accident, or stomach flu type of emergency. As a result, when I saw her number come up I knew immediately something was wrong.

I think I always knew this call would come, because I pushed for my daughter to choose a college I could drive to in a reasonable amount of time. Luckily, I got my way.
This is why I always advise my friends to follow their intuition. It is there for a reason.

She blacked out in the shower and split her head open hitting the tile floor, she said calmly over the phone. I could picture the cool green tiles of the college dorm shower with the white grouting, the textured glass door, and the running water as she lay there unconscious.

“I’ll be right there,” I said. I drove home and threw my clothes in the car. I arrived in Los Angeles at 10 p.m. and stayed for five days.

She looked pale, tired and scared. She was bruised and had butterfly stitches on the wound that ran through her right eyebrow.

Three trips to the doctor for tests, some loving attention and she began to stabilize and look like herself again.

Her skin again turned creamy and pink. Her blue-green eyes sparkled when she laughed. I followed her everywhere, and walked her to class. I was afraid it was going to happen again, and she would fall backwards down the concrete staircase on the way to her dorm room. I had dinner in the student cafeteria with her and her friends. I met her beautiful, poised and accomplished society sisters.

She studied, and I worked on my laptop and had meetings with my pattern maker and production team in the nearby garment district.

I did her laundry and mopped her dorm room floor. I stocked her fridge and bought her orchids for her desk. Then, I brought her home with me. We drove through the Central Valley together. The valley is beautiful, with an intricate weather system and clouds that come in every color of the rainbow, and in countless shapes and sizes.

We played music. She slept. We talked. We’ve not been this close since she was in grade school.

As we drove through the Central Valley we encountered isolated storms. It would rain, and then the sun would come out. If you take the time to look, you will find there is always a rainbow. Always.


  1. Yes! It was so nice to take care of her. She’s so incredibly independent I haven’t been able to do that for a long time. I’m so excited to have her home this summer ♥️

  2. Moms. My wife flew across the country to sit with our little girl – then in college and mortified when mum showed up – when she caught the flu. Bought her chicken soup and everything.

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