Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What Girls Can Do

I have worried about raising girls, although I always thought I'd be a better mom to girls than to boys. I only had one sister growing up, so boys were--and still are--a little foreign in our family. I remember being a young girl and teen and how hard it was. I remember the pangs of puberty, the aches of envy, the echoes of words that ground down my self-esteem. All of those hurts became mountains I had to climb over to realize my own self-worth, which I continually work on every single day.

I worry I will show my girls my inner struggles instead of how to work through them. I am afraid of showing my weaknesses instead of using them as strengths. How they see themselves in the end is dependent upon them, but it begins with me. So instead of dwelling on the past and worrying about the future, I am going to try to be better at celebrating the present. I am going to show them every day #whatgirlscando.

One of my proudest moments in recent memory is when my five-year-old said, "Mommy, I have to do my homework to get my master's degree." I began my graduate program when she was three and she's nearly six now. For three years she has watched me on the laptop, reading and writing as I pushed my way toward a goal I set for myself nearly 12 years ago.

I knew on that day I had been an example to her in showing her that education is important. I showed her what girls can do with their minds and ambition. Today, I learned she knew education is important. I was more proud of her today when I saw her kindergarten scores than I was of myself for getting my MA. She is at least 95% in all her subjects, and she is reading at a level that is expected by the time she's done with kindergarten, not in the middle.

This week has been a good week in our house for girls and their education. What's next for my girls and me? Bring it, world! #whatgirlscando
Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard