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The Most Powerful Person in Wilton

When it comes to true influence and strength in town, the one with the most of both answers to the title, “Mom.”

The Wilton mom sometimes has an oft maligned reputation – why, even here on Patch I’ve read one or two or several dozen nasty-toned comments about the bored Wilton housewife and the many nail salons she frequents in town.

Apparently we Wilton moms have not much else better to do than disrupt PTA meetings and worry about which club we’ve decided to play tennis at today — the private one or the private, private one.

Of late, we’ve gotten lumped together as being the prime abettor and co-dependent . Apparently we care more about our standing and position in town than we do our children’s health. Let ‘em get into a good school with an unblemished record, but who gives a hoot if they’re addicted to something when we ship ‘em off.

Perhaps it’s a side-effect of our own pill-popping we’re all rumored to be doing, in between the spouse-swapping and social climbing. Rumor has it, so it must be right, right? It’s no wonder now and again.

At first I thought it was just me, knowing that I can sometimes rub readers the wrong way. I was once quoted on another blog, where a reader there called me a “spoiled hausfrau” and noted, “She’s from Wilton, for Pete’s sake!” It seems we Wilton moms have a bad rap outside the city limits as well.

Our reputation outside of Wilton is pretty solidly mocked too:  witness co-opted and customized to disparage many a mom in our state, including the Wilton version. Our stereotypical standard bearer is the one pictured in this article.

But as a mom, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I just don’t have time for whiners. Contrary to what the naysaying nabobs are trying to assert about Wilton moms in general, I have to protest, and characterize the mothers I’ve found here as complex, caring and committed people.

We are a small town and a not-so-small town. I always marvel at how easy it is to forget that the small orbit in which I travel (my kids’ age and grade ranges, their sports teams, my work life, my volunteer commitments) is truly small; Wilton is much larger in reality. There are women here who work in different industry areas, whose children are older — perhaps grown — who I don’t know and who don’t know me.

But Wilton is small enough to find out about the women who need help from their sisters; there are moms who face health struggles, financial strife or other need, and their friends are quick to reach out a hand of assistance and support.

The network of compassion, as evidenced in acts big and small, is deeply rooted here in Wilton, and we see it daily. Women who turn out to run, bike, walk, relay and cheer – let alone fundraise – were active this past weekend as they are all year long, be it for cancer-related causes or other campaigns. Sometimes it’s in memory or honor of friends and family, sometimes it’s in defiant stance for one’s own battle, but there are warriors in Wilton that do battle on fields other than athletic ones.

Women in Wilton support each other not only in sickness but in health as well. Sometimes it’s just in the simple things – supporting a friend’s new business venture, or helping a friend with younger children navigate the ins-and-outs of what’s to come in the next stage of development. Advice is plentiful and almost always offered freely.

What’s more, the Wilton moms I know are dedicated to their children. Sure, we all know our share of helicopter parents, the ones that sometimes overstep the boundaries of over-involvement or over-indulgence; I’m sure we’re each guilty of it at some point or another in our parenting history. But I’m more encouraged by the frequent examples of the women I meet, the ones who teach their children to be compassionate, honest, selfless, responsible human beings. I see fewer examples of entitled kids than Wilton gets credit for.

We laugh together, work together, volunteer together, inspire our children together, cry together, mourn together, celebrate together, and carry on — side by side, in support, and strongly on our own.

All moms were celebrated on their day yesterday, but Wilton moms should be recognized the other 364 days of the year as well. Happy every-other-day, Wilton moms.

Take it from me, don’t let the critics get you down.

Heather Wilcauskas May 14, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Happy Belated Mother's Day from one complex, caring and committed mom to another (and to your equally complex and caring readers)
ZuZu's Petals May 14, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Hang on - Aren't you the PTA Heather W. who in large part caused all that trouble a few months ago ?? Was that the caring or the committed part of Social Climbing ?? Apologies if you are not THAT Heather.
Lesley May 14, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Hey, where I work I see Wilton moms every day. The vast majority of them are devoted to their children, intelligent, polite, kind and funny. More power to them!
Alison Rhodes Jacobson May 15, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Great post Heather. It's usually the small deeds that only the recipient knows about that are the most important and kind.
Danielle DeCrette May 15, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Pills and spouse-swapping? I thought that sort of thing only happens in Long Island? Great post Heather.

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