I’ll never forget the moment you each emerged into the world helpless and mottled pink, your first gasp for air triggering my chest to collapse in relief. Cradling you against my chest I was overcome with a joy so palpable it felt as though my heart could burst.
Holding your tiny body during our countless feeding sessions in the quiet of night, I would grasp your little fingers and wonder the type of woman you might some day become.
My daughters, I want you to know that you can choose to become anyone you want to be. Some people along the way may try to tell you that you’re not smart enough or strong enough, but I know you possess the fiery tenacity to prove them wrong.
You may decide to have children some day and become a stay-at-home-mom, or a working mom, or maybe you decide to not have children altogether—and that’s okay. Some people along the way may try and impose their narrow definition of motherhood unto you and expect that you adhere to societal conventions of what a woman should be.
The beauty of modern womanhood is that you get to choose the type of life you desire.
You may someday excitedly say, “yes” to a date with someone and choose to kiss him or her on the first outing; or, you may choose to wait many dates before any intimacy. Some people along the way will try to pressure you to do something before you’re ready or willing, or make you feel guilty for saying “no,” or confusingly, maybe even harshly judge you for that kiss on the first date.
The beauty of modern womanhood is that you decide whom you want to kiss when you want to, and that absolutely no one is entitled to your body just because you’re a woman.
Those wanting to put you in your “place,” by telling you to “smile,” to “cover-up,” to “lighten up,” to “just relax”, may someday confront you. They will tell you you’re not skinny enough, pretty enough, or that you’re too pretty and “asking for it.” You might be unfairly blamed for the negative actions of others just like decades and decades of women before you. You might be told all these things in your lifetime, but I hope not.
My daughters, my hope for you is that you are free to choose whatever type of life you dream for yourself. I hope that you will charge through life with conviction and determination, confident in your choices regardless of how the world thinks you should behave, do, look, or speak.
Some may argue that women still have a long fight ahead for equality and rights, and while this may be true, the world has a lot of catching up to do with us.
My daughters, in your lifetime may there be more women leaders, women that forge their own path, women that speak their truths, and may we finally break that glass ceiling.