Happy Mothers Day

One of the many things that got my attention last week was the speech Kevin Durant gave accepting his MVP award. His remarks about his mom were very touching. He said “when something good happens to you, I tend to look back to what brought me here.” And, of course, at the top of the list of “what brought me here” is our mothers.

Like most of us, I have two Mothers in my life.

My Mother, Peg Wilson, who gave me birth and put up with all the crap that I dished out as a kid. I was a difficult child. I always wanted things my way and drove most of the people around me crazy. At the top of the list of people I drove crazy was my Mom.

The other Mother in my life is the Gotham Gal. Not only has she been an incredible mother to our three children, she took over from my Mom around the year we met and finished off the job of shaping who I am. The Gotham Gal is my harshest critic and always has been. There is nobody who can put me in my place quite like her. I don’t appreciate that in the moment, but I appreciate it after the fact.

I guess that is the ultimate thing about Moms. They shape who we are. They are demanding, loving, and giving. Thank god I have two mothers in my life. I love both of them very much.

#Random Posts

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Off to see my mom in a few hours.Funny how now that she is in the twlight of her life, I’m the parent.Great women, 1st generation New Yorker. I publish my favorite picture of her every year–so excuse the repost.She is standing in front of their trailer on the army base in Texas. My dad is shipping out the next day.She doesn’t know she’s pregnant with my older brother and will spend the next four years till my dad returns with her father and 4 others (and the new babies and one dog) in a one bedroom apartment off the Grand Concourse in the West Bronx.Lucky me for having her.

    1. William Mougayar

      Vintage pictures are priceless. Nice story.Tell us more about the dog πŸ˜‰

      1. awaldstein

        First in a long line of Waldstein mutts. My dad loved walking his dogs.His goal if he hadn’t passed away so young was to retire, buy a flat in the West Village, adopt an old dog that no one wanted from the shelter and just become part to the neighborhood, walking around and tutoring the local kids in physics.

    2. Mac

      Thanks for sharing that story today, Arnold. Wonderful photo.

    3. Dave Pinsen

      Great pic.Grand Concourse reminds me of what Tom Wolfe wrote about it (and the Bronx) in Bonfire of the Vanities.

    4. Richard

      50% of our moms will require use of a skilled nursing facility in their lifetimes. These facilities are run poorly and in the same way for 50 or more years. Time for disruption.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Japan is ahead of the curve on that. They invented a machine to bathe their elderly, for example: http://www.globalaging.org/…Smarter than importing a low-skilled worker to do the job. The machine won’t require expensive health care or a pension when it gets older, and it won’t have kids who do poorly in school.

        1. LE

          That’s a great link. Kind of made me think of Hal from 2001http://www.youtube.com/watc…I would imagine there might be a service that could have one of these in a truck and drive around on a route to provide the bathing service. Obviously would have to be a certain niche that was ambulatory enough to get out of bed and into the street where the truck was (along with the right weather) but still be able to use something like this and/or need it.One other thing about any healthcare or in home service. Some people like anytime a nurse comes to the house (they are bored and lonely and it gives them someone to interact with) and others hate it.

      2. awaldstein

        Yup but nothing will happen till medical insurance is changed.

    5. Anne Libby

      She’s so stylish and beautiful.

    6. sigmaalgebra

      Yup, just looking at her picture, e.g., clearly she’s got it all together, easily, naturally, can see much of where you got what you have.

    7. Guest

      It would be so much better if she was wearing sunglasses, Arnold avatar style!

  2. kirklove

    Moms rule. Ultimate #girlpower

  3. Rohan


  4. jason wright

    it’s all in the coding

  5. William Mougayar

    It’s interesting to realize how widely diverse the Mothers Day celebration dates are, around the world.Almost every month of the year, there is a Mothers Day, depending on what country you’re in.http://en.m.wikipedia.org/w…The one I associate with the most, is March 21st, being the first day of Spring which is when Mother Nature decides to renew itself. It is also the period when the Greek/Roman origins of this tradition are traced.Happy Mothers Day, and my Mom is lucky to celebrate it twice, on March 21st, and today.

    1. jason wright

      Here in the UK it’s always in March. May seems a bit late to celebrate the cycle of life in the northern hemisphere, and it’s a month with a stronger political association. Lambs have been in the fields for weeks.

  6. pointsnfigures


  7. Mac

    Happy Mother’s Day! to all you moms on A VC today.

  8. William Mougayar

    Fred- how did you go from being a difficult child that drove people crazy, to a nice VC that entrepreneurs love.

    1. fredwilson

      i passed through the phase of being a difficult VC that drove entrepreneurs crazy

    2. LE

      Yeah I was quite surprised to find out that Fred says he was difficult as a child.

    3. Russell

      great question and +1 for the honest answer

  9. Kirsten Lambertsen

    My son shares your childhood personality — hopefully that bodes well for him! I always tell myself that many of the most accomplished, interesting people were ‘difficult’ kids.Happy Mother’s Day to all the AVC-connected moms out there!

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Happy Mother’s Day Kirsten.

  10. Dave Pinsen

    Who puts Gotham Gal in her place?

    1. fredwilson

      Our children πŸ˜‰

  11. rich caccappolo

    Thanks, Fred, for this great perspectives and moving sentiment. I hope you don’t mind that I will “borrow” them in discussions with my Mom and wife today…

    1. fredwilson

      Hi Rich. Nice to hear from you. Enjoy the gorgeous day here in NYC

  12. Forgive Me

    It was all good until the last paragraph. I’ve noticed over the years that you misuse penultimate, as you did here. Cringe. The word doesn’t mean the β€œultimate” ultimate (or however you think of it in your mind), it means next to last.Signed,That GuyPS Mother’s don’t let your sons grow up to be That Guy.

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks. I will fix it

      1. Russell

        lol, anonymous grammar police!

  13. 3agonists

    In the end, family is what really matters. Thank you for the post!

  14. LE

    Scrambling to get a mother’s day card for my wife this morning (she took care of getting one for mom my who we are seeing tonight) I came to the conclusion that mother’s day cards exist because if we didn’t have them we’d have to think of something original, witty or sentimental to write each year which would be pretty difficult. Year after year.I also thought of this after reading what Fred said above and realized that if I looked back on mother’s day for the past few years he probably would have said a version of the same thing about his mother and gotham gal.I know he has said this before I definitely remember this: There is nobody who can put me in my place quite like herYou run into the same problem on anniversaries as well and I guess birthdays for that matter.How many variations of saying the same thing can you come up with?My recent technique has simply been to pickup a card and do some funny variation of whatever the card is trying to say. More or less my version of trying to put extra sauce and toppings on shitty Ellios pizza.

    1. Brandon Burns

      you’re witty enough to come up with something good in less than the time it takes to go to the store to get a card. πŸ˜‰

      1. LE

        Actually that’s a great point and a good example of putting something in perspective. [1]And you even added praise as well which acted like a multiplier..God I hate to end with a joke and take away anything from my compliment for what you said but I’m headed off to the Coach store to buy my wife something because I just got a 25% last minute sale email (that triggered a buy impulse in my brain).[1] Exactly what I always say you need to do with kids. If you have kids do this.

  15. Pete Griffiths


  16. LE

    and put up with all the crap that I dished out as a kid. I was a difficult child. I always wanted things my way and drove most of the people around me crazy.Would love to hear more about this.I was totally the opposite. But the fact that my parents were so controlling of ever aspect of my life was what motivated me to want to do my own thing and be able to make my own decisions each and every time. Had they been nicer and more coddling (as parents typically are today, you know “friends”) I don’t know if I would have been as super motivated as I was.If I had to guess (all I can do, right) I would say the fact that you were raised in a military family, where pecking order and rank matter so much, is part of the reason your family had no tolerance for someone who didn’t understand their place or who was the boss. Quite likely that Fred raised outside of the military or today wouldn’t be viewed the same way.she took over from my Mom around the year we met and finished off the job of shaping who I am.Passing of the vise. Quite common for people to either marry someone exactly like their parents [1] or the exact opposite of their parents. Similar to how people either mimic how they were raised or do the exact opposite with their children when raising them.[1] Harville Hendrix talks about this iirc.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Your last set of points reminds me of an educational cartoon that a professor shared when studying family systems: First frame pictures a couple with the words “We raised our children the exact opposite of how we were raised.” Next frame “And they turned out exactly like our parents. “

      1. LE

        Wow I never saw that cartoon I wonder how someone who is not familiar with the concept would react to that.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          I used the term “cartoon” loosely. This was taken from a publication or some educational material within the counseling field.

  17. Salt Shaker

    Those who still have their moms should be very thankful. Mine passed about 8 years ago. Recently, my uncle unearthed a bunch of photos of my mom taking in her early 30s. It was a revelation to discover that mom was quite “a babe.” Never really viewed my mom in that light. Yeah, I know, Freud would have had a field day w/ that statement, but fuck him (and his couch).Be grateful for what you have….HMD!!

  18. PhilipSugar

    I like how you describe the Gotham Gal. I lost my mother over a decade ago to the killer that takes all of the women on my side of the family in my life: cancer, so today is always a poignant day.Fortunately my kids have three generations on my wife’s side.

  19. Donna Brewington White

    Encouraging to hear you were a difficult child. I have high hopes for my difficult sons. In my heart I know that this is part of their future greatness.Although I also have high hopes for my perfect daughter. πŸ˜‰

  20. JLM

    .My Mother wore combat boots and she was very cute in them.I miss my Mother, a powerful aspirational force in my life.JLM.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Let’s see: Small chin, pretty mouth, narrow nose, slightly turned up at the end (a sign of youth), big eyes (another sign of youth), perfect skin (good sign of health), long neck, narrow shoulders (sign of femininity), perfect weight, good with her hair, nice smile, looking up (signs of healthy psychology). Yup, darned pretty. Lucky father. Looks like she’d make a gorgeous bride and a good wife and mother!

      1. JLM

        .Strong right hand for swatting well deserving children.JLM.

  21. sigmaalgebra

    > she took over from my Mom around the year we met and finished off the job of shaping who I am.Yup’s been known to happen. A guy grows up as a guy, especially pays attention to things and not people, plays ball with the other boys, gets into after school fights, and gets a technical/business education, and now it’s up to his poor wife to finish turning him into a human, a process much like starting with a baby who drools food all over his high chair and training him all the way to good table manners.> The Gotham Gal is my harshest critic and always has been. There is nobody who can put me in my place quite like her.Yup, suspicions reinforced: GG’s the foundation on which stands, maybe the real brains behind, USV!

  22. mikenolan99

    Our family has a mother’s day tradition – we all try to be the first to post this! https://www.youtube.com/wat

  23. Emily Merkle

    The card I got for my mom.

  24. Emily Merkle

    I have a difficult relationship with my mother. i may very well be biased, having studied psychology well into my PhD studies, but i firmly subscribe to attachment theory, and suspect we may have had a disconnect very early. I was the quintessential “pleaser”, seeking the validation I did not often find at home. It remains very painful. I guess what I want to express is not my agita, but rather – revere your mothers; take and reciprocate the love they want to lavish you with; respect them for the care they have taken with you over the years. Do not take them for granted, and always let them know what they have meant and do mean to you, if they are able to hear you.

  25. Twain Twain

    In her 30s, my mother looked like Barbara Bach from that Bond movie ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’. In my 30s, I’m not a mother (yet) so I wasn’t gifted any cards. Instead I made a long-distance call to wish my mother the best and tell her about the roast pork buns that they make in SF.She is a GREAT dim sum maker and cook.

  26. John Revay

    Great acceptance speech by KD – it brought tears to my eyes…Re: No knock on the GothanGal…but I am sure Peg Wilson had her hands full w/ three male army brats