A Recipe for Resilience: Why Blaire MattersLearning
With irresistible authenticity and an abundance of warmth, 2019 Girl of the Year™ Blaire Wilson™ invites everyone to share her table. And what girls will find there will nourish and delight them.
At heart, Blaire’s stories are about moments that shape a life—not necessarily the monumental events and milestones, but the commonplace occurrences, little joys, quiet personal struggles, shared bonds, and a host of experiences and perspectives that are so often subtly, but profoundly, transformational. Through her mishaps, creative “idea-sparks,” uncertainties, and triumphs, Blaire shows girls the value of being present, of cherishing supportive and healthy relationships, and of maintaining a sense of humor, balance, and healthy optimism in the face of challenges—no matter how big or small. In short, Blaire captures the ways little moments, connections, and talents help build resilience, shape character and a strong sense of self, contribute to a person’s physical and emotional health, and empower girls to thrive.
“The best way to enjoy this moment was sharing it with the people I loved, right here, right now."
~Blaire, p. 179
Building—and maintaining—rich and rewarding relationships with friends, family, and one’s community is central to Blaire’s world. Whether it’s the history that connects her and her family to Pleasant View Farm, the bonds she shares with her friends, the love of cooking and blogging she shares with her mom, or the many sweet, subtle rituals and traditions that weave the characters in her stories together, Blaire highlights the many ways spending time together gives us strength and stability, especially when something in our world goes a little bit sideways.
But her story also shows that these relationships require attention and care: how communicating and collaborating with the aid of technology has the power to bring people together—but may also contribute to misunderstandings or interfere with being fully present with one another. It’s a gentle reminder, for girls and parents alike, to make their time together count.
Nourish Body, Mind, & Spirit
One of the important ways Blaire connects with others is through food. Indeed, Blaire’s stories reveal an attitude about food that embraces meaningful connections—to farmers and growers, to the land and environment, to nature and seasons, to those who prepare delicious food and those who enjoy eating it. A meal is something worth sharing and savoring; a dish prepared with care is a means of communication and expression—a creative and fulfilling medium that encourages empathy and thoughtfulness by doing things for others and mindfulness about the foods we eat and enjoy.
For Blaire, who just before the story begins is diagnosed with a severe dairy intolerance, cooking is—just as her mom tells her—a form of love. It is a part of the person she knows herself to be, a part of her identity and traditions. But her dietary restrictions are also an important part of her physical health. The quiet struggle she goes through to learn to adapt and accept her “new normal” captures the process of facing a challenge and building resilience; hers is a story that has the capacity to encourage and support girls as they face their own moments that shape or re-shape their sense of self and their interests.
When life is rich and full of possibilities and challenges and changes, it can be hard to find a way to fit everything all in together and find balance. Learning this truth is a part of growing up, even as working toward balance is a life-long endeavor. There is an honesty and resonance in the way that wisdom is represented in Blaire’s stories, as each character strives—in his or her own way—to adapt when encountering new people, new circumstances, new perspectives, and new experiences.
That’s what girls see, through Blaire’s eyes: the ways history and tradition meet possibility and progress. The ways being present with friends and family matters, even—or especially—when you’re preoccupied with other joys and cares. The ways digital and real-world experiences each have their place. The ways balance, itself, is an ongoing process of discovery. In short, Blaire’s stories show people constantly learning that balance is not about letting one thing replace—or displace—another, but about finding room for all the things that matter most.
Nurture Humor & Happiness
“Things had gone from bad to good in a way I never expected.”
~Blaire, p. 30
Baby animals. Unexpected guests. A grown-up who has just discovered emojis. A little brother with his own definition of “treasure”— throughout Blaire’s stories, hilarity ensues—and that’s important, too. Hers is a world that celebrates laughter and little joys; it delivers moments that will make you and your girl laugh and remind you of the power laughter has to bring people closer together.
As adults, there are few things more satisfying than seeing the children in our care thrive, and a robust body of research suggests it’s more than merely heartwarming: creative play, a strong sense of community, joviality, and a strengthening belief in one’s capabilities all contribute to resilience—the kind of security, confidence, and optimism that equips a person to adapt to new situations or cope with change and challenges.