Last week was Parent Teacher conference at my daughter's school. Her teacher informed me that she loves playing the castanets, and forming a band with her classmates. She describes with a chuckle, “your daughter just starts prancing around the room, castanets in hand and before long other classmates are marching right behind her with diff. musical instruments.” A priceless scenario I would love to witness and quite possibly a forecast to current events. Next item addressed was her teacher’s personal favorite (what can top spontaneous band formation?), she states that our daughter is really sweet and demonstrated compassion and empathy onto others. The example given to us was how our daughter always made sure everyone felt included, especially if they were new. My heart melted. I was surprised and internally gloating thinking “well damn I must not be messing up this parenting thing too much.”
Now. Don’t be fooled, you all know how performance reviews usually start on a high note and then quickly escalate to and here are the following things that need your attention and can use some improvement.
We were told that our daughter was very particular about how she wanted to do certain things. The example given to us was how she puts her jacket on (an extremely odd way, I tell ya’---it’s a 5-minute ordeal every morning), her teacher said we now refer to it as the “Rway” (my daughter's name starts with an R). Lastly, she informed us that our Daughter gets very upset when you try to help her accomplish certain tasks, she likes to follow through until the task is completed -- with no adult assistance. Which was met with an affirmation not worry, as this was a normal part of toddler development. However, knowing my feisty daughter, I know she is a tad on the extremist side of little miss independence.
So what to make out of all of this, while also going through the 2016 U.S Presidential Election?
Here’s the deal, until the last couple of weeks I never thought I become so vocal about my stance on sexism, racism and the importance of higher education. Never did it cross my mind that I become one of those crazy political activist holding up signs marching through Washington D.C. chanting catchy phrases. But then Trump happened…... and I could no longer sit still and be silent. Two weeks ago if you’d ask me how I felt about protestors, I tell you “Wao, look at all those Hippies, they care too much.” It wasn’t until I found myself looking for flights to D.C that all of the sudden it clicked “Wao I’ll be remembered in History as one of those crazy marching bodies holding up a sign saying, “I’m not a sign gal but Geez.” Or, “ I can’t believe I’m still protesting this s$%^.”
In conclusion, the way I’m processing both my daughter's teacher conference and the election are as follows:
When my daughter plays her castanets and forms her little band. I’m seeing her first signs of Leadership skills, and my foreseeable future. When my daughter goes over to the new kid and gives him a big hug. I’m seeing her empathy and compassion skills and how I must continue to break all those bubbles that divide us. When I see how she defy's the ways certain things should be done, I’m seeing her authenticity, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Which only reminds me that I too should remain open to new ideas, strive to find solutions but never be afraid to speak my mind and oppose what is wrong. When my daughter fights me every time I try to help her put her shoes on or button her shirt, I see her determination and independence. Qualities I should not hinder but reinforce within her.
This week has been rough and 2016 SUCKS! I’ve gone through all the stages of grief, but yet somehow, amongst the Chaos I see my Daughter and it gives me hope. Hope that the future is not as scary as we plot it out to be (stage 5, Acceptance), and the only thing to do now is put on our big girl pants and be an Example to our daughters.
As corny as this may sound. They are the future and we must stay strong and united for them. We might not be singing Kumbaya just yet, but today this notion helps me get through it all.
My vow as a mother will always be to teach “R”, Compassion, Empathy, Authenticity and to always seek Truth. I don’t want her to ever feel like she needs to be popular and perfect to uphold her self-worth. I want her to grow up and learn to ask questions and be open to new ideas. But most importantly I want her to strive to stay humble amongst it all, and to help with this she’ll need to reach out to others that are not like her and try to form lasting bonds.
As parents we always want our children to be better than we are. For example, I know I can be extremely arrogant, cynical, and judgemental. But I’m a firm believer we change over time to reflect the values we want them to have.
Although this week has been hell. I’m happy it happened. It sparked something beautiful inside of me. One day I will tell my grown daughter. “ You know what happened on 11/9/2016?”
I drafted a personal manifesto, I became an Activist, I reopened my Eyes to the world at Large. I became a better mother, women, wife and friend. I even had an image of you all grown up, sitting behind an oak desk with the seal President of the United States. I will never forget that day. It started a Revolution inside of me.
For those who read this today and stand beside me you know what follows next…….
January 21st, 2017.
My sign will read "Today I walk in Trump America, so tomorrow my daughter won't have to." See you soon strong Ladies. For more hope, see below.....#thefutureisfemale