Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy International Day of Women

Being a mother is a tremendous responsibility, but for a daughter especially. 

I knew a daughter would likely look up to me more than her dad and I wasn't ready for that even when I was pregnant with Tey. Considering that I'm now a SAHM, it's ironic that it wasn't until I had graduated with my PhD and felt stable in my job that I finally felt ready to have a daughter. I was pregnant 2 months after being hired and a couple weeks after finding that out, the sono showed that it was a girl. I cried tears of joy as well as honor that God had chosen me to be her mother.

International Day of Women 2012
Mei is my sunshine. She has changed my life forever and for the better. Nothing and no one inspires me more to be a better woman so I can be a good role model for her. The burden is heavy even as she is just one year old. Though she has no idea about the oppression of our sex, it seems inevitable that she will not only know it, but experience it herself firsthand. 

Too soon will she be told she can't do something just because she is a girl. Too soon will she feel the pressure to dumb down her intelligence just for acceptance. Too soon she will be targeted by ads selling  products promising to make her more attractive to someone else. It both saddens and angers me to no end. 

So for now, I cherish her innocence. Many nights before I put her to bed, I hold her so tightly in my arms as if I can stunt her from growing up. Sometimes, I pray for her so hard that I'm on the verge of tears. I think of this song and it gives me some measure of comfort.

This year, International Day of Women with Mei was free from heavy messages about women's rights, our struggles and overcoming barriers. Instead, today we celebrated with some of Mei's favorites: books about ducks, solving her shapes puzzle, having a friend over to play, and one of our first successful ponytail (with the help of a couple clippies). 

It won't be long before I feel compelled to share with her the larger truth about being a woman, but for now I revel in her accomplishments as a 16th month old girl with nothing to hold her back. I hope that this day can be an annual reflection on Mei's womanhood and how we can foster that fully in other girls. It is with great optimism that I look to our girls' futures and anticipate seeing their potentials become their realities, especially for my own baby girl (who I'm trying to convince myself will always be my baby girl).

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