Tuesday, March 8, 2016
International Women's Day
Today is #InternationalWomensDay . As a woman raising two daughters, I have many hopes and many more fears about the world these girls will bloom into. I hope they will be respected as equals, and their lives will be free of the struggle that women have had to do to get everything we have today, that everything we currently lack as far as simple human rights will be given freely. I hope they will build up their fellow women, and not tear them down to feel better about themselves. I hope they will not bow down to anyone, and will respectfully refuse to be told what to do (in certain situations, I don't want to raise children with an unfounded sense of entitlement). I hope they will never stop reaching for something better, never stop trying to be the best they can be. I hope they support each other and others, and are willing to be a strong female example for the generations that come after. I hope they are strong, I hope they are brave and I hope they never lose their excitement for life. I hope they never let others tear down their love for all that's pink, sparkly, and colorful, and that when someone rips apart their adoration for princesses and fairy tales they refuse to let go, knowing a love for princesses doesn't automatically equal being weak and wanting someone to take care of you. I hope they realize that being a strong and independent woman doesn't mean they have to stop being silly and put childhood fun behind them.
With these hopes, I fear the world will not change for their generation. I fear that not only will the world not be easier for girls and women to grow up unfettered, but that it will be harder for them to grow into what they want to be. I fear that the world is degenerating and becoming even scarier for our children, boys and girls. I worry for their lives lead online with so many people out there trying to weaken them. I fear that while one of my daughters is strong-willed and won't be taken down easily, I fear for her sister, because she is so soft-hearted and easily gives all that she has. I fear for her because while I don't want her to lose the beauty that is the core of her soul, that it will make her a victim and easily preyed upon. I worry and hate that I even have to think about that. I fear that all the stories and lessons and boosting of confidence won't be enough, and she will still be easily broken.
But what I DO know for a fact is that these girls are bright, they are kind and they are loved. I KNOW we can build them up and teach them that they may have to work and fight and never let go of their dreams, and that we have to be okay knowing we are doing all we can to raise strong and powerful girls. I KNOW we are trying to be the best parents we can be, and that with the support of the family and friends, and with the foundation of school and church, that we can make the best young women we can.
Last thing I know, these girls are special. They will always be special. And they are ours, and we are so proud. Someday, they will be women, and we will have to be confident we have done our job as parents.