Anne Sweeney's Daughter Reveals What Her Mom Is Really Like
Rosie Miller, 24, a second-grade teacher in Palo Alto, Calif., describes her upbringing in her own words: " 'Yes,' I declared one day in kindergarten. 'My mom is the president of Disneyland!' "
This story first appeared in the 2014 Women in Entertainment issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
My first public comment on my mom's job didn't go too well. When the announcement of her move to Disney came out, my kindergarten teacher pointed out that I had big news to share with the class. "Yes," I proudly declared. "My mom is the president of Disneyland!" Although I later learned that "running Disneyland" was not in fact part of her job description, it was still very cool to have a mother who was boss at Disney Channel and, later, ABC and ABC Family.
To me, my mom has always been first and foremost my mom. I am beyond proud of her accomplishments. Seeing her named [THR's] Most Powerful Woman in Hollywood showed me firsthand that girls are powerful. However, my main source of empowerment from my mom does not come from any title she has earned but from the guidance, love and support she has given me throughout the years. Her crisis-management skills are flawless, and when you're a 24-year-old figuring out who you are and what you want to be, a crisis-management guru comes in handy.
Our family motto, thanks to my grandmother, is, "Life is choices." I have heard this phrase more times than I can count for as long as I can remember but only recently began to realize what it means to me. Growing up, whenever my mom said it, I would think, "No, life's not choices when you're a kid, only when you're older." But once you are an adult, you realize that because you've internalized that belief — the belief that you have ownership over each day of your life — you are much more capable of coping with the bumps in the road. My mom exemplifies this belief every day. In my education studies, we learned about "growth" versus "fixed" mind-set. My mom has a growth mind-set. She always taught me that you are capable of changing the course of your day, week, year or even life and that your choices are what define you.
My mom had a major "life is choices" moment recently when she decided to leave Disney and try something new. I know that it's a good choice for her because I know she followed her own advice. I know that, through her decision, she is being true to who she is and who she wants to be. I also know that she will pursue her new direction with her usual extreme level of passion and commitment. When we spoke after she announced her decision, I ended our call the way we have always ended all of our conversations and discussions, by telling her that she's "the best in the world."
True then, true now.