Sunday, March 20, 2016

to frances

While finally organizing our master bedroom, I found these:

Long-closed vestiges of my former life. A life lived in high-heels and business attire that came with a bit of glamour (see above) and a dose of drudgery (see long days and nights, billable hours, working on holidays). While I've chosen to walk away from that world for now, I am constantly searching for ways to remind my sweet daughter that a woman's place isn't only in the home.

If you ask Frances what she wants to be when she grows up, she usually says a mom. Which is awesome. And flattering. And hopefully will come true. I hope that one day she finds a wonderful partner and that, if they so choose, they are able to start a family of their own. But I worry that seeing me as "just a mom" sometimes taints her views of what women can achieve.

The concept of having it all is tricky. I believe we can, as both men and women, "have it all" in the sense of career and family and faith and voluntarism and all the other goals we have. I don't, however, believe we can always have it all at the same time. We make choices, hard choices, and change our priorities depending on our life stage. So yes, for now Frances sees me as "just a mom." But as she has gotten older, she has begun to understand that even her "just mom" works a bit from home. That other moms work full-time while their little ones are in school. She is surrounded by so many amazing examples of how to be a woman. She knows that Virginia's mom is a lawyer, that Emmylou's mom makes beautiful music. She knows that Aunt Christina stays home with her kids, while Aunt Bec teaches other little kids.

When I first asked Frances whether a woman could be president, she immediately said no. Needless to say, we've had some discussions since then, and she now proudly proclaims that a woman can be president as well as anything else...that girls can be anything boys can be. Oh sweet girl, hold on to that truth. Hold tightly to the truth that you can achieve your dreams. And I'll hold on to these fabulous shoes for you.

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