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anne_mikolay_120This summer, my oldest son, Dennis (a college senior and an Atlantic Highlands Herald columnist and writer for The Daily Caller) served as an intern for New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie. As a proud mom, I helped my son choose his suit, shirt, and tie in preparation for meeting the Governor. I listened to him complain about traffic en route to Trenton, heard his opinions of the NJEA protests outside the State House, and chuckled as he complained at the price of lunch in the working world. Dennis is that rare individual who believes that one man can make a difference and has strong political beliefs and aspirations I feared would be tarnished by the “real world.” I wondered if Dennis would survive his brief stint in the State House with his enthusiasm and optimism in tact.

Indeed, he did.

When Governor Christie met the interns who had been toiling conscientiously for him all summer long, he left them with a bit of wisdom passed down from his beloved mother. “Be true to yourself today,” Governor Christie said. “So that tomorrow you don't have to remember who you were pretending to be yesterday.”

While some may be tempted to dismiss Governor Christie's comment as mere trite words that sound like somebody's high school yearbook quote, the Governor's sentiment held meaning for Dennis. And definitely for me. I have always taught my children to be true to themselves, march to the beat of a different drum if you have to. Never wear two faces; only one of them can be real. My son heard, understood, and responded favorably to Governor Christie's advice.

From this, I learn the following: 1) No matter what you may think of Governor Christie's policies, the man can hardly be called fake. He's as real as it gets. 2) Governor Christie's mom was a very smart lady. 3) Dennis Mikolay, a young, eager, political novice is his own person, whom I like, respect, and admire.

If you would like to hear more about my son's internship, please refer to his Atlantic Highlands's Herald column, The Populist Approach.