Advice to Our Daughters
instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point B,
because that way she knows that no matter what happens,
at least she can always find her way to me.
And I’m going to paint solar systems on the backs of her hands,
so she has to learn the entire universe before she can say,
“Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.”
And she’s going to learn that this life will hit you hard in the face,
wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach.
But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs
how much they like the taste of air.
That there’ll be days like this.
There’ll be days like this, my momma said.
When you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises;
when you step out of the phone booth and try to fly
and the very people you want to save are the ones standing on your cape;
when your boots will fill with rain,
and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment.
And those are the very days you have all the more reason to say thank you.
Because there’s nothing more beautiful
than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline,
no matter how many times it’s swept away.
You will put the wind in windsome, lose some.
You will put the star in starting over, and over….”
As a pregnant lady (who, according to my husband, obsesses about my pregnancy just a little bit too much, but who will concede that point only if my husband feels like still claiming it after he himself experiences 3 months of nausea, exhaustion, mood swings, acid reflux, and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream), this made me think about what I learned from my mother, and how that differs from what I would teach my daughter.
The values my mother most impressed upon me were values of modesty, obedience, compliance and appreciation for the beauty of god’s creation. As you may guess from this, I have a different take on raising daughters… So here’s my rough “If I Should Have a Daughter” spoken word riff:
If I should have a daughter
I’ll make sure she knows
I’m only a mom. I’m not godly,
There are no gods
Waiting at the ready,
To swoop down and save us,
But I’m going to try my darndest to be
The best mom I can be in all the ways she needs me…
And I’ll let her play with dolls and pink toys,
But I’ll do my best to show her,
Through example, stories and any ploys
I can use,
That the world is open to her.
I’ll push her to claim the same power, same right, same ambition
that I would if she were a boy.
And for her birthday, I’ll give her a lump of clay,
To remind her, while we may not have total control,
Of whatever comes our way,
We shape our minds, shaping our selves,
Shaping our reality, at the end of the day…
What would you/do you tell your daughter?Printable Version