Holly Firfer-Arnold, Vinings resident, Emmy nominated journalist, CNN correspondent and Star94 deejay, and her mother, Nancy Firfer, share a positively infectious enthusiasm for life and for each other. Although this dynamic duo have enjoyed a strong bond for as long as either one of them can remember and need no excuse to celebrate their mutual respect and admiration for one another, the consistent dedication they show to each other is a prime example of the underlying meaning of Mother’s Day.
Nancy, who lives in Chicago and has a long history of philanthropy in her home town, said Holly was born wise beyond her years, making her an almost effortless child to raise. “I was a purposely young mother, and Holly was the first of my three children and my only daughter,” Nancy said. “I was very lucky she was mother’s little helper.”
Holly and Nancy quickly developed a friendship through mutual loves, such as shopping, animals and giving back, as well as Holly’s childhood passions, including dance. But, the pair also brought the rest of the brood together around Sunday family days and even an annual family trip scheduled around the Major League Baseball All-Star Game each summer.
“We were always together, but my mom always encouraged us to have a lot of friends, so we were always very social. I always loved hanging out with my mom,” Holly said. “Even when I was in college at Northwestern, my mom would come every year for my birthday and take me to lunch or shopping.”
Today, Holly and Nancy still carve out time from their busy schedules for regular visits despite living in different cities. “We still love getting together and have a great time even today,” Nancy said. “Holly always tells me when I get old she has her basement ready for me.”
So, what forges the kind of solid mother-daughter bond that can span hundreds of miles and hectic schedules for all these years? “My mom was a really good confidante and really understanding,” Holly said. “We both loved animals, and I wanted to rescue every stray and would hide kittens in my room. My dad said no animals but my mom would always help me hide it until we found a good home. She was a good partner in crime for a good cause.”
Shared secrets for a good cause, shared passions and plenty of quality family time built the foundation for Holly and Nancy to enjoy a lifetime of making memories together, but it was Nancy’s parenting style that laid the groundwork for Holly’s professional success. “I believe kids should be free to make their own choices as long as they have the right guidance,” Nancy said.
“She made us very independent and gave us a lot of free reign,” Holly said. “That gave me a lot of confidence because I was always encouraged to take chances and feel my way. My mom used to say, ‘Go around the block and stop in every driveway,‘ and that’s a metaphor for life. That’s why I like to travel and be the journalist asking questions and engaging with people. My mom does a million things at once and never stands still. I got that from her. She’s always taught me to keep moving forward, and I’m really thankful for that. Plus, she’s got great genes!”
And, really, who can ask for more than that?
*Originally published in the April 2012 issue of Cobb Life Magazine.