Lauran is a mom. Caitlin is a mom.
They both love their boys, sushi – and each other.
That may be where their similarities end – and their story begins.
In the vast and swampy sea of angry American politics, it’s generosity that characterizes this pair of political junkies who come from opposite sides of our national fistfight.
Their story began around the kiddie pool in their neighborhood (as all truly epic tales do) and grew into a deep and resilient friendship that can (and regularly does) withstand profound differences of opinion and a Ted Talk that left us weeping just a little (and sprinting for the door to find our very own friend just like either one of them).
These two are like our sherpas in the journey to know how in the world to talk to “those people.” They’ve got the headlamps and all the rope and the pick axes you’re going to need. They use words like “listen” and “questions” and “relationship” and “learning” that many of us vaguely remember hearing applied to political conversations a long long time ago. And they talk about it a lot, too, like in this feature on Arthur Brooks’ new Podcast.
But be forewarned – along with their deep differences around politics, they don’t see eye-to-eye on camping. Caitlin hates it.
Caitlin is a wife, mama, kids sports chauffeur, Real Housewives of wherever devotee, volunteer for veterans causes, school safety advocate, Japanese food lover, world traveler, Amazon shopper and political junkie.
Lauran on Caitlin: Caitlin is one of the most thoughtful and caring people I know. She is wicked smart, classy, diplomatic, level headed, and hilarious. She never gossips. I mean NEVER. She cries more than anyone else I know-when she is happy, touched, sad, frustrated, etc. I LOVE this about her. When I have faced difficult times she cries right along with me. Her empathy and love has been a source of comfort during even the darkest of times.
Lauran is a mother, writer, reader, adventurer, friend, Thai food and french fry lover, cyclist, culture junkie, ocean and lake seeker, political enthusiast. She’s on the right of the picture above, even though she’s on the left in her politics.
Caitlin on Lauran: I love Lauran so much. She is smart, funny, kind, an amazing mom and a loyal friend. She is a deep thinker about important issues and crazy knowledgeable about history – I’m always learning from her. I admire many things about Lauran, including most recently her commitment to developing her own successful coaching and consulting company. Lauran is truly superwoman – there’s nothing she can’t handle and nothing she can’t do.
A Little More About Lauran & Caitlin’s Unorthodox Friendship: A few weeks after the pool they ran into each other at the park. Their husbands hit it off too and the four continued talking until dark. From that point on they could be found eating dinner at one house or the other and sneaking away for a movie or sushi without the kids. Early on they talked about politics. In all of their listening and asking questions (and eating sushi and chasing boys) they often begin their conversations thinking they’re talking about the same thing and they end realizing they aren’t. We think that’s a pretty profound insight. (We also wonder about how their husbands see politics, but they’re not dishing about that so far. Maybe you can find out when they visit you!)
When they’re together at the pool Lauran sits in the sun and Caitlin sits in the shade as they did that very first day. Lauran is the “rememberer” in their friendship so Caitlin is sure that anytime they disagree on “remembering” things, Lauran is probably right.
Their Talk: “We Can Do Better! The Power of Using Dialogue in Our Relationships, Communities, and As a Country.” They will share wisdom from their journey with implications for productivity, creating and maintaining social connectedness and social capital, and complex problem solving. Hanging with Caitlin and Lauran should be a mandatory stop before you join that strange and oft-dreaded land where people definitely do not agree (uh, work).
The time-space continuum to consider: Lauran is in Denver. Caitlin is in Denver. (Their proximity to each other is super convenient so they don’t have to get on a plane when their boys want to play.)
What Lauran & Caitlin would need to come to your school: Travel and hotel and an honorarium of $750-1000 each.