Parent & Child interviews

Mother & Child Interview, 7 Years Later : Hannah & Gena Gerbier, New York

March 12, 2017

In 2010, we published an interview of Hannah and her family. Seven years later, Hannah and her mother Gena Gerbier come back to tell us what animates them today.

Hannah

What do you feel when you read what you wrote 7 years ago? It makes me laugh! I can pretty much remember what I was thinking, and what made me say all those answers. It’s sort of embarrassing.

Have you changed a lot? If so, in what sense? Not too much! My fashion style has definitely, but a lot of things from then have influenced me now.

Do you still live in the same town? We still live in New York, we’ve just recently changed boroughs. My brother was really upset, but I would have been too if I was 10.

Do you have new ideas about the type of profession you want to embrace, or the things you want to do as an adult? Not yet. At the time, I wanted to go into art, so I tried it out (still in the process), but I’m not sure if I want to do that now.

What are the books, films, events that made an impression on you lately? For books and films, I’ve really liked George Orwell’s works so far, and I’ve just started 1984. For events- with all the happenings that come along with our new President, I realized I’ve never been as involved with politics. What’s gone on since the presidential race has really changed me and my views on things. I’ve been getting involved in a few rallies, protests and marches, and I feel if not for this election, I wouldn’t feel as strongly on topics as I do now.

What is the most beautiful lesson you’ve learned from your experiences so far? To understand, rather than relate.

What skills do you have that are special/that you are proud of? I’m not that good at anything to call it a talent, but I’m slowly trying everything out!

What do you think would make a change in the world? A universal understanding of how to take a joke- and comedy in general.

Gena

What are the main changes that happened in your life/profession in the last 7 years? First off, after 12 years in the retail world, we closed our business in 2014. It was a bittersweet moment for us. Stephane and I thoroughly enjoyed the creative, innovative side of our businesses along with nurturing the relationships with our clientele but of course things changed within the industry, the economy and ourselves. It was a lesson in letting go and moving forward. It was also liberating. We are both able to spend more time with our children and as a couple. We are extremely grateful to have had the experience but at the same time happy to have moved on to challenging and fulfilling careers which allow us to utilize our entrepreneurial skills.

What is the most precious message that you have you drawn from educating your children?
There’s a Jamaican saying, “So yuh plant dem, so dem grow”. As parents, we are our children’s first teachers. Whether it be consciously or unconsciously, we plant the seeds, that allow them to blossom or wither. I’ve learned that I must always honor the people they’ve become. Meaning that our children show us who they are every day. We may start off with certain expectations or an idea of the path we would like them to follow but inevitably it’s their choice and as parents, the most we should do is shine the light for them to explore and learn. Then we need to trust them to find their happiness, and their own passion in life as they mature.

What makes you happy about your family? We love our time together. In our previous interview, Hannah said that the thing that made her laugh was her baby brother, Noah. That is one thing that has remained constant. I love that Hannah and Noah truly like each other. Of course they love each other as siblings but I’m proud that as siblings of opposite sex and with an almost six year age difference they really do ​like each other.

Has Hannah evolved the way you thought she would? That’s a difficult question to answer because if I say ‘yes’, it seems like I’m the omniscient mother whose expectations have all been met and if I say ‘no’ it seems like I’m the insatiable mother having too little or too many expectations. The truth is, they both surprise me regularly. Growing up in NYC has shaped them in ways I could have never anticipated. I’m inspired by their insight, their sense of humor, and their compassion.

What is your recipe for happiness? Being grateful. Family +Friends + Food + Music + Babies + Dogs

Your formula to keep the family healthy? I love using food as medicine. Whether it be ginger tea to treat a cold or honey just because…I use a lot of spices like cumin, turmeric and of course ginger and garlic. I just finished reading The Prime by Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary. She’s a neurologist who blends Ayurvedic practices with her Western medical training to treat her patients. It’s eye-opening.

A quote from an author/thinker/artist that you particularly like? Still I rise – Maya Angelou

Read the interview of Hannah and family published in Dec 2010 here.

Gena Gerbier

2010 and 2017 Hannah & Gena Gerbier

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