May 14, 2023 - Things to Do

An ode to Axios' most dedicated mom

Selene and her mom posing in a bed of wildflowers

Selene and her mom, Oz, aka the "cub reporter." Photo: John San Felice/Axios

On this Mother's Day, I wanted to recognize someone who never gets a byline but has been a huge part of making the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter possible β€” my mom.

Why she matters: It's hard for two reporters to keep track of all the news around Tampa Bay. But my mother β€” who has dubbed herself the "cub reporter" β€” has lent a helping hand nearly every day for more than two years.

Flashback: When I moved back to the area to start the newsletter, she was there watching Tampa Bay's biggest Super Bowl on my tiny phone screen from an air mattress in my empty apartment.

  • And she did the bulk of the packing, shopping and unpacking while I learned to write the newsletter.

How it started: My love of writing came from our Friday night Scrabble games starting when I was 8, where I would look up unfamiliar words and write them down in a special notebook with a fancy pink gel pen ("gel-worthy").

  • "One day you'll stop wanting to play Scrabble with me and start going out with your friends," she warned little Selene. I denied it, but in middle and high school those games were sparse.
  • When I graduated college and moved back home, I once again spent Friday nights waiting for her to get home for our games. We still love playing any word game we can get our hands on β€” and love learning new "gel-worthy" words from them.

What's ahead: My mother's goal is to work hard enough that Axios co-founder Mike Allen gets her a ticket to the next White House Correspondents' Dinner.

  • What say you, Mike?

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