When you laugh and have a lot of fun together, it’s easy to be good friends with your mom.
Claire Orser is 17 and looking at heading off to college, but she isn’t one bit shy about how much she loves her mother, Libi Geddes.
“My mom is so confident and can talk to anyone,” Orser said. “It is inspiring to me how quickly she can make friends.”
Their relationship has been close from the start, and they credit that with how much they laugh together.
“I love her humor – it’s smart, quick and sophisticated but also goofy,” Geddes said. “I am just so proud of Claire. She is an independent thinker.”
One of their fondest memories together was a trip to Disneyland, and Legoland. This summer their plans include a trip to Comic-Con and a B-52s concert, where Orser plans to sport a beehive hairdo.
“We’re kind of nerds together,” Geddes said.
The two also love spending time together, even if it is just knitting and watching TV. Orser also works at her mom’s shop, Springboard, in Eastsound, during the summer and after school.
Claire’s parents separated amicably when she was young, and her dad, George Orser, lives at Doe Bay.
She has a brother, Alex Zderic, who is five years older and about to graduate from the University of Washington with a degree in physics. They are a tight-knit family, and Geddes says the key for them to getting through adversity is communication.
In the fall of 2016, Orser plans to attend college in Chicago where she will study behind the scenes work in film and television. It is a passion she has explored on the island with her mom. Orser was a lighting technician and Geddes was on headset for Orcas Center’s “Moulin Rouge,” “A Christmas Carol” and currently “Across The Universe.”
“I know it will be hard when Claire goes to college, but it will be exciting for her to live a little more independently,” Geddes said.
In 10 years, Orser sees herself working in Los Angeles. Geddes hopes to develop her own product line to feature at her shop, travel more and “visit Claire and Alex wherever they are living.”
Orser says she admires how diverse her mother’s life has been.
“She’s traveled and gone on so many adventures,” she said. “I want to do that.”
Geddes grew up in San Francisco in the 1970s but says her daughter is still able to challenge her perceptions.
“It is surprising that I have more conservative values than I realized,” she said. “Claire has taught me about being a true feminist. She is so progressive and I appreciate her perspective.”