Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tomorrow's Wednesday Woman


Even before I began blogging I was reading the blog These Little Waves.  I was stunned by the candid beauty, the visceral awakening of thoughts and moments I often struggled to pair with words.  The writing at These Little Waves continues to inspire me to do it better, but with reminders to be kind to myself, to notice what the world is telling me.

Today, for Wednesday’s Woman, I am honored to welcome the author and creator of These Little WavesGalit Breen.  She reminds us that the world will view our daughters based upon perceptions—the perceptions we help to mold as we parent our children.  She reminds us that tomorrow's Wednesday's Woman is in our presence every day.




Tomorrow's Wednesday's Woman

“What did he say?” I ask over muffled laughter and loud whispers.

We sit shoulder to shoulder in a row, mothers in varying shades of yoga pants and jeans, sneakers and high heeled boots, edging this large room, facing our children. 

I’m at Brody’s gymnastics class, watching him across padded mats in the brightest shades of blue and tall bars that glint beneath florescent lights. 

These scare him because they’re so high, too high. But right next to them is the ever enticing trampoline, a perfect space to soar, and to hold someone’s hand if the landing seems too far.

I zoom in on my guy.

He stands by his coach, their fingers threaded. Brody’s shock of blond hair is mirrored on the coach’s other side by a little girl with equally bright curls pulled back with tiny pink plastic berets.

“What did he say?” I ask again, my voice unsure. 

“He said he doesn’t want to race a girl.” The mother by my side answers, smiling, not unkindly.

***

I peek at him through the rearview mirror. The sun reflects his hair, his eyes, the silver buckle. 

Someone once told me that boys connect better in motion - immersed in an activity, running, walking, - so I wait until we’re on the road to speak.

Oh, a Mothering Talk. The beautiful, bothersome ribbon I’m starting to curl around our relationship.

“Brods, why didn’t you want to race against that girl?”

I meet his eyes. They’re hazel and wide and rimmed in the longest lashes I’ve ever kissed.

“Because I wanted to win.” His little voice carries between us.

Of course that’s why. A boy with two older sisters whose legs are faster and arms are stronger and years are longer, would think he’d lose playing against a girl.

My assumptions about how girls are viewed, are all on me.

Not on him.

Because the beauty of youth is that they’ve yet to carry our baggage.

***
A week later, we’re back beneath those bright lights.

He threads his fingers with mine. They’re small and warm and fit just right. I squeeze him once to say, I love you, twice to say, You can do it, and three times to say, Always hold my hand.

We face the girl with the blond ringlets, her berets are blue today. She sits on her mother’s lap, their matching hair blends against their shoulders.

Brody is hidden, wrapped around my leg. I feel his weight against me. 

“Hi honey.” I smooth his road. “Brody wants to talk to you.” I nudge him forward.

“I’m sorry,” He starts. “That I said I didn’t want to race you.”

***
When Sperk invited me to write for Wednesday’s Woman, my HeartMind whisked faces of women I admire. I’m lucky to say there are many.

My grandmother, a Holocaust survivor. My aunt, a breast cancer victim. My mother, an Israeli emigre who changed careers and language and culture and community with grace.

But that’s not who I ended up writing about. 

My Wednesday Woman is my daughter and yours, the girl in your classroom or your soccer team. The one that wins races and doesn’t see the wow in that - because it’s just who she is.

Our job is to raise these girls to keep seeing themselves the way Brody does.

Strong.

Fearless.

Inspiring.

And to raise our boys to keep Seeing them in the exact same way.






 Wednesday's Woman is a weekly feature dedicated to spotlighting women who are role models for our daughters. . . and the world.


photo credit: [auro] via photopin cc

48 comments:

  1. Thank you so very much for hosting me today and for that stunning introduction!

    I so, so appreciate both!

    xo

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    1. It was an absolute honor. I am so grateful for your presence here.

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  2. GalitBrren, you are too damn eloquent for words. Yes! Is all I can say. YES

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    1. Thank you, girl. This is so kind, so generous.

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  3. Oh Galit FANTASTIC!!! The spin you put on this topic is beautiful. You are SO right. Wonderful, amazing, yes, yes, yes!!!!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kim! This means the world to me!

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  4. Galit, I just love you. And you too, Kimberly - what a brilliant combination, the two of you together.
    What a touching and inspiring post.
    I am very fortunate and grateful to have a daughter who is just who she is, and damn comfortable at that. And a son who sees it.

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    1. Thank you girl, for your kind and your sweet.

      And wow, do I ever love what you wrote about your kids! Love!

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  5. I love this Galit. I'm from the generation where on the playground as a child the athletic girls were "jocks" and jock was not taken as flattery. Today, I love seeing all these young girls and women flying around the soccer field, softball diamond and basketball court. No longer jocks -- but beautiful strong females -- as you so beautifully described.

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    1. Oh how I love what you wrote - remembering/appreciating/loving how far we've come, yes?

      Thank you, friend. {Truly}

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  6. May I raise my boys to see your girls and all the girls in the world, the way they should be.

    Beautiful and perfect, my friend.

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    1. Oh your words, your heart, your friendship.

      Thank you for all three.

      xo

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  7. I love that so much. I wonder if D will feel the same way; his sister is always beating him :)

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    1. Thank you so much, girl!

      (And he probably will, sweet boy = Great Man!)

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  8. I absolutely love his logic and the way you let it develop so that OUR assumptions are also flipped. Well done!

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    1. Thank you so much for the words and the kind, girl. I so, so appreciate both!

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  9. Fantastic! And since you closed comments at your place, can I also say I LOVE the picture of Brody against everyone's legs! Oh, that is a delicious photo! ANd now I'm off to see what you have to say at SITS girls. I can't wait to hear a different voice from you. You have so many ways to communicate your thoughts, and each one is just right.

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    1. Thank you, girl, so very much!

      (And yes! I loveLoveLOVE that photo, too!)

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  10. Ooops! I don't know why that had me sign in that way! Trying again.

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    1. There's nothing wrong with a few xo's! :)

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  11. How beautifully said! I don't have a daughter, but this would be music to my ears if I did. And I do think that daughters of this generation have an amazing opportunity to view themselves as strong, fearless, and inspiring.

    You know, last year my seven year old got home one day beside himself with joy. He said: "Mom, you won't believe this! Two girls were playing football with us at recess! It was so much fun!" And I thought to myself, how wonderful it is, that this is the kind of reaction the boys had to the incident.

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    1. Ohmyheart, how I love that story! It warms my heart over (twice) knowing how very MUCH our kids can DO!

      (Thank you so very much for the words!)

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  12. Strong, fearless and inspiring, I love it! And a great reminder for parents to help encourage children's positive feelings and beliefs before learning any outside stereotypes or baggage.

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    1. Yes, that. Exactly that.

      I love the way you worded that!

      Thank you so much for the note!

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  13. Oh, I have tears in my eyes. Like 'I can relate, this really touched me' tears in my eyes. Thank you for this.

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  14. You have the sweetest little boy, Galit. You are teaching him many wonderful things!

    Your writing always has a way of stopping me in my tracks. Beautiful.
    xo

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    1. Thank you for every last bit of that, friend.

      So kind and generous, and appreciated!

      xo

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  15. Galit, this is beautiful... stunning. I'm so glad you looked forward, to our daughters' futures, for your inspiration. I'm a little in awe of following you next week....Ok a LOT in awe :) ~ Cindy

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    1. Thank you so, so much for all of that kind, girl!

      And I absolutely can't wait to read *your* words!

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  16. Oh I love this so much. I love being reminded that our children see without bias. And inspired to keep them that way!

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    1. Oh yes, amen (especially) to that second half!

      Thank you girl, for the note and the kind and the in-it-togetherness of it all!

      xo

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  17. Raising our children is such a gift, as much as we try and teach them ... they teach us each and every day xxx beautiful words sweet friend, lovely to see you here.

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    1. Thank you, dear friend, so much.

      (And, as always, I love your words. They do, indeed, teach us allthetime, don't they?)

      xo

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  18. Galit, you grabbed my mama heart with this one. As the mom of two girlies...this is exactly what I try to teach my girls. This is what I just talked to my team of 19 girls last night to remind them that they can do anything in the playoffs coming up this week because they are strong, fearless and most importantly...inspiration for all of the younger teams under us. The younger girls always look up to the girls on the older teams that get to go to playoffs and this year...it's their turn to shine.
    Also, I love that it was sweet Brody that brought you to this post. The way he feels about girls because of his sisters will lead him to choose women (as friends and/or more) just as strong, fearless and inspiring in his life when he is older.
    Beautiful, my friend!!! xo

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    1. Oh you, thank you for this. Your words, your heart, you SameSoul as me, warm me over eversingletime we cross paths.

      Thank you for *you* and all that you do for your girlies (!) at home and on your teams. Wow are they (we!) so very lucky to have you!

      xo

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  19. Oh my Gosh, I am BAWLING sitting here reading this...which would be fine if I was at home, but today I am actually at the nurses' office at my girls' school subbing! Hope no one needs a Band-Aid before I have a chance to dry my tears.
    This is just simply gorgeous. In every way. With every word you captured how it feels to be a mother of girls and completely honored your son. Wow.

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    1. Ohmyheart, thank you for every single one of those words.

      So kind, so generous, so appreciated.

      Thank you. {Truly}

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  20. Gorgeous, absolutely.
    I love this part: "Because the beauty of youth is that they’ve yet to carry our baggage.:
    That is so very true and so very fortunate.
    I love this reminder to keep all of our children seeing women in a light of beauty.

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    1. Oh that last line of yours is a stunner.

      Thank you, my sweet friend, so very much.

      xo

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  21. That is how I want my girls to grow up. In a way that when others (especially boys) look at them, they think twice - about how capable, smart, and inspiring they are. I don't ever want anyone to look down on my girls. I always want to them to walk with their heads high - but not too high in conceitedness and selfishness. Just high enough that they know they are strong and beautiful just the way they are. Thanks for this post, Galit. I loved it.

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    1. Thank you so much for your words and kind, girl. I so appreciate them both.

      (It's almost overwhelming how very BIG we love and hope for our kids, isn't it?)

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  22. Oh Galit, beautiful as usual. Yes I hope this for our sons and daughters too. And the line about youth not carrying our baggage, I loved.

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    1. Thank you so, so much, my dear friend.

      {It doesn't surprise me in the least that we have some of the same Hopes for our Loves.}

      xo

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  23. I love that he is thinking, but I really love that he decided to say something to the little girl.

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    1. Oh me too, girl. Me, too. It's all about the follow through/ noticing and taking care of others' feelings, right?

      Thank you so very much for the note!

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  24. Oh my goodness, this was FANTASTIC.

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