The Founders' Parlor
Report from the 2005 LLLI Conference
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 22 No. 5, September-October 2005, p. 211-212
The quote, "The Parlor is awesomea great chance to meet inspirational women," can refer to both the La Leche League Founders and their guests at the cozy and inviting Founders' Parlor at Alum Fun Headquarters during the 19th LLL International Conference. Founder Mary White sent along this comment, "The Parlor was great fun, and I truly enjoyed talking to so many lovely people one-on-one."
Among the many heartwarming comments in the guest book, a Leader Applicant wrote, "My mother went to LLL with me as a child in 1968 and 1969 and I'm carrying it forward in our family." She followed up with an email saying how much visiting the Founders' Parlor meant to her:
Meeting some of the Founders as I am close to finishing Leader Accreditation, I profoundly and deeply feel both the history and the future of La Leche League. I feel so enriched by the experience and deeply connected to LLL and what it stands for.
Parlor visitors signed up to attend one of 12 half-hour sessions where they chatted informally in a small group with one or two of the seven Founders. Sharing family photos, birth stories, breastfeeding experiences, favorite LLL memories, and dreams for the future, Founders and guests alike were inspired by their time together. Founder Betty Wagner Spandikow wrote, “It was so nice to hear mothers share what they experienced when they had their babies.”
Having time for a conversation with the Founders was a highlight for many Conference goers. “It’s great to meet the Founders in person...a wonderful and rare opportunity,” wrote one mother. “This is one of the best parts of the Conference,” wrote another. Another added, “I came especially for this—thank you!” while still another commented that it was “an honor and a privilege to spend time with the Founders.”
Guests included attendees from around the world, mothers and their grown daughters, grandmothers, new and experienced Leaders, Leader Applicants, Conference speakers, and of course, children. One young girl signed the Guest Book saying, “I love you so much!” More than one guest wrote, “You’ve changed the world!” and, “Thank you all for the gift of teaching me mothering through breastfeeding.”
Twelve women volunteered to hostess the parlor sessions. Mary Shine wrote:
Thank you for the opportunity to host the Founders’ Parlor. It was an experience that I will treasure forever. These are the women whose bravery gave voice to the song in our hearts. They helped us to be parents and friends that our brains and hearts wanted us to be....The influence of LLL spreads across my whole life.