Lesley was born and raised in California, the oldest of three sisters. She spent her first decade in Santa Barbara, where her parents were both elementary school teachers and administrators. She and her family then moved to the San Fernando Valley, the same year that Frank Zappa released his pop hit "Valley Girl,” which gave her much inspiration for new speech patterns and fashion choices. (Ahh..if we only had pictures!)
At 17, Lesley left LA and headed across the country to attend Barnard College as an undergrad and then Syracuse University, where she got her master’s and PhD in Cultural Foundations of Education. She took her first academic position as an assistant professor of Educational Foundations at Rhode Island College in 2001, and is now approaching her 15th year working with undergrads and grad students in the education programs there. She also co-directs the Youth Development program, and teaches in Gender and Women’s Studies.
Lesley married young, divorced fifteen years later, and found herself treading water in the Rhode Island dating pool several years later after that. So at 38, wanting to have a child biologically, she started strategizing a new plan for family building. After spending several months choosing a sperm donor, and several more traveling to and from the Cornell Center for Reproductive Medicine in NYC, Micah was born. “Best. Decision. Ever.”
Lesley and Micah live on the East Side of Providence, and have many wonderful adventures together. According to Lesley, Micah is funny, smart and kind. He is a great traveler and has flown cross country to see his family in California many times. Micah also loves music… and on any given M-W-F, you might catch a glimpse of them having a “dance party” in the car during morning drop off. He is also a creative (and genuinely helpful) assistant in any home fix-it project, especially it if involves a trip to Home Depot where he can ride in the “car carts.”
Lesley loves the fact that Child’s Play’s has given Micah a great deal of confidence, independence, and creative opportunity. He is taking more risks, trying new things, and building a deep love for his friends and teachers. Welcome to Child’s Play, Lesley and Micah, we are so happy to be on this new adventure with you!
We asked Lesley to share a bit about herself in 10 questions:
What are your favorite books?
EB White’s Charlotte’s Web and Judith Viorst’s, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
What was your favorite activity in gym class?
Faking injuries and developing elaborate strategies for evading sweat.
What would your perfect day look like?
Blue sky. Sunshine. Big blanket and comfortable chairs. Picnic lunch. Micah dancing to happy music in front of me. Maybe a kite. Maybe a few moments with the New York Times. And a nap.
Which three people would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?
My sisters, Micah, my best friend from childhood who I still talk to several times a day (Okay, that’s 4!)
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
If I wasn’t working full time, I would return to throwing pots at Dew Claw studio, something I loved to do before Micah was born. And Zumba. And I would still teach one class a week at RIC... but I might pay someone to grade all the papers! Just kidding. Sort of.
Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
Prague and Barcelona
What's your favorite restaurant in Providence?
Bacaro or Loie Fuller. But the whims of a three year old dictate that I mostly eat out at Flatbreads and Hope Street Pizza.
Which famous person would you like to eat there with?
What's your favorite season?
As a California native who never experienced real season changes, I love the spring when the bulbs are blooming and all the trees come back to life.
How would your closest friends describe you in three words?
Positive. Patient. Overcommitted.