I’ll be honest; I was suffering from a severe case of writer’s block. I waited until the very last possible minute to write this post. You see, we’ve had a busy couple of months. The holidays were a blur, we celebrated all three of my children’s birthdays, I fractured my foot and all of the other daily occurrences that keep us all so busy.
And then, as some times happens, just in the right moment the fog started lifting.
Could it be the changing of seasons? I always say that my favorite season is Autumn. (It is quite magical isn’t it? Even if the leaves don’t change color here and the temperatures don’t exactly do that “cool and crisp” thing that other Americans get to feel when they live up north.) But, I would be lying if I said that there wasn’t something pretty incredible that happens when the dreary Winter loosens it’s grasp and finally let’s the warmth of Spring trickle in.
There’s a bit of a spiritual renewal for all of us that happens as the grass becomes green again and the flowers begin to slowly peak out. We begin to lose that layer of blue that seemed to weigh on our shoulders and for the first time in months, we lift our heads up and really start to look around again.
And that’s where I saw it, right in front of me. My daughters. That’s what I wanted to write about.
We had ventured to the park, one of the first times since I had fractured my foot. I was pushing the baby in the swing, just enjoying the breeze and baby giggles. I glanced up, just in time to see our sweet five year old contemplating the monkey bars. The monkey bars that are entirely too high up for my little girl. Of course, my first instinct was to yell out “No! Don’t do it!” as visions of everything that could possibly go wrong danced through my head.
But, instead I let her be and just watched. She continued to contemplate and just when I thought she had decided to walk away, she went for it. I watched as she swung from bar to bar with more strength and bravery than I have ever seen from her. She neared the end, would she call for help to get down? Do I scream now? She took a moment and then jumped down on her two feet.
I was completely enraptured, caught in this moment of amazement and disbelief. And then, she turned back and looked at me with a small smile.
It was one of those majestic, movie-like moments. You know those moments. When the star crossed lovers finally meet face to face, and the world around them ceases to exist and you think to yourself, in an extremely realistic fashion “wow, that never happens in real life.” Until, you actually have those moments. Like the first time I laid eyes on my husband (in a college bar, but that’s another story) and oh, how that smile made my heart skip a beat like never before. Or the very moment that your child is first placed in your arms and nothing else in the world could compare to this amazing, tiny creature that is more than anything you could have possibly dreamed of.
Those moments don’t happen quite as often as they should, but when they do, they become like pictures that are forever ingrained into your memory.
So, here I was unexpectedly faced with this moment. The world seemed to stop for a tiny second and it was just my sweet, brave girl standing there with her beautiful brown hair blowing across her face. She didn’t say anything, and she didn’t have to. That smile, that determination, said it all. That smile seemed to wink at me and say “Mom, did you see that? I am going to conquer the world.”
You see, I had deliberately scrolled past an article the other day on Facebook titled “Don’t Call Your Daughter Pretty”; or something similar to that. It was ridiculous. It annoyed me so much, I couldn’t read the article.
My defenses went straight up and quite frankly I’m tired of being told how, who and what I need to do to raise my children.
Have my husband and I done it all wrong? We call our daughters “pretty,” “beautiful,” “cute,” and “gorgeous” all the time. There is no denying the fact that their eyes light up in reaction to these compliments. But, darn it. We also go on and on about how brave they are, how strong they are and how kind they are.
I am proud that today, women are on the brink of something new. I am proud for women, I am proud for me but more importantly I am proud for my daughters. I love watching them grow. I love to see them learning new things and do things that they have never done before. I love to see them try, and even when they fail, try again.
My daughters will always think of themselves as strong, brave and yes, beautiful. They will know their own worth and they will never feel unequal because of their gender.
My girls will be fierce. Let them roar. Let them conquer the world.