ARIEL FOXMAN: Olive is a year old now. What types of things are you experiencing with her now?
DREW BARRYMORE: Yesterday I took her to the Guggenheim Museum, and these two little girls were dancing in front of a light installation. They were about 7 years old, and Olive just loves kids. We put her on the floor, and you could see how much she wanted to play with them. I had this weird mix of emotions. I was so proud of my daughter that she was giving of herself, and I began remembering those moments when as a child, you’re like, “I wanna play! I wanna play!” And the other kids are like, “Not now, kid. Beat it!”
AF: “Step aside!”
DB: I was like, “Oh my god, this what being a parent is.” It’s a lot of pride and a lot of nervousness.
AF: Are you an anxious parent?
DB: I love the person who said, “Parenting is like wearing your heart on the outside of your body.” It’s the most beautiful, perfect analogy. I have anxieties about how much I’d like to get it right, making sure I provide her with an environment that’s safe, nurturing, and loving. And silly and free, also consistent and grounding. Then I just have the same typical fear every other parent has: Are they going to fall down?
AF: Is your husband, Will, very calm?
DB: Will and I are a nice balance of opposition and similarities. He always says, “being calm is so important.” Because I tend to be not calm. I probably act more like a chicken with its head cut off! But I can also be very strong. I’m entering my 40s, and now I get to step back and take these incredible, extraordinary life experiences and life lesson and apply them to being a parent.
AF: What are the most important lessons you have learned?
DB: Nothing comes for free. Life does not provide you with an easy ride. You have to face really deep internal and sometimes external challenges. It’s so humbling. Not to take away from the really big obstacles everybody faces, but I’ve also learned you just have realize how ridiculous certain things can be.