“People who are cool just don’t stop being cool when they get older. If anything, they get even cooler.”

Becki Bees is the Director of Marketing for Roland Park Place (RPP). But if you ask her what she does all day, you won’t get a typical marketing director response (ad placements, presentations, meetings, etc.)

“I tell the residents’ stories.”

{I LOVE that response, don’t you?}

Some of the city’s greatest thinkers, inventors, and achievers find themselves at  RPP- – and Becki is often the one who helps them decide if the continuing care community is the one for them and helps to acclimate those who do decide to reside there. The average age of a new resident? 85. Currently, there are 6 residents over the age of 100 — one of whom just came back from a trip to Europe. 

It’s kind of like college, said Becki with a grin over a chai latte at Johnny’s last week. I’m not sure whether she knows it or not, but Becki lights up when she talks about the residents; much the same way she lights up when she’s talking about her almost-kindergartner twins.

Becki admitted that she’s not used to being the one being interviewed. Usually she asks the questions. So I asked what she would typically ask during a new resident interview?

“I want to know why now. When they first sit down with me, the answer I’ll often get is ‘it’s time.‘ There’s more to the story. Is it time because your brother just passed away? Do you have a pain in your hip? Did you hit the arbitrary age you and your spouse agreed to move into a care community? Did you see an ad on tv? Something happened to trigger that time,” said Becki. “I also want to know who their support network is.”

So I asked her {because that’s a HUGE question for working moms, too}: who is your support network?

Her answer: My husband, my best friend Lori, my mom, my sister, my work family, and the residents. After 10 years of working at Roland Park Place, the residents have become as much a part of Becki’s story as she has become part of theirs. 

coffee with becki bees - (cool) progeny

She started in sales at RPP, but grew quickly with the company and now oversees sales, marketing, public relations, and apartment renovations {that’s right — apartments are custom renovated to a resident’s specifications when he or she moves in}.

When she and her husband learned they were having twins and started looking at the cost for infant daycare — times two — they knew one of them needed to stay home. Their conclusion? He would take a break from working until the twins were in kindergarten and she would continue working. 

“It’s been a luxury,” said Becki. “I never had to worry about what would happen if one of the kids was sick. Of course I’d snuggle them but he was the one home. If they were up at night, that was on him.”

That’s one of the big changes up ahead for Becki. This fall, the twins are starting school — which means her husband is going back to his career as an archeologist. Roles and responsibilities are going to shift some — and she’s not sure how to feel about the impending juggling. Becki does, however, know she’ll figure it out. 

{We all do, right?}

She and her family recently made the jump from Upper Fells Point to Parkton, trading after dinner walks to the store (IF someone had pants on when she got home from work — we all know how that goes) for post-dinner bike riding in the driveway. It’s only been five weeks, but Becki says coming home now is like going on vacation. 

“I’m not circling the block trying to find parking. And a lot of people have said – oh, the commute! I love the commute. On that drive home, I get everything from work out. When I get home, it’s really family time. I don’t bring work home with me anymore,” said Becki.

{I’m guessing jamming to Roll with the Changes might help, too. Becki admits REO Speedwagon is a guilty pleasure…}

They do miss, however, their Saturday strolls to the Fells Point Farmer’s Market. She and the twins would share a donut (I’m still trying to figure out how she had the resolve to just have 1/3) and each kid would munch on a pickle during the walk back home. Her son is especially fond of them.

“We must have been a sight. Walking with the kids gnawing on a giant pickle. What do you think people thought?” 

She chuckled.

“That’s the thing. My husband and I agreed that we would never judge other parents. Which is strange for us because we’re judgey people,” she quipped. “But if you have a baby in the grocery store at midnight? No judgment. You’re doing the best you can. Your kid doesn’t have pants on? No judgment. You’re doing the best you can.”

And that, I think, is one of the best stances on parenting you can have. Most of the time, every parent is doing the best he or she can.

 

Should we have coffee? Coffee with is a series on (cool) progeny that highlights moms in Baltimore doing (cool) things. Know a mom we should have coffee with? Email Heather at heather AT coolprogeny.com.