“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
Maya Angelou, African American poet
Raising boys is a constant struggle between the feminine and masculine parts of myself. If you have been around here long enough that you probably know I am a very girly girl, complete with the trappings of femininity. What you might not know is that my minor in college was Women’s Studies and that underneath the sparkly shirts, high heels and love of all things covered in glitter, baubles or sprinkles beats the heart of a true feminist.
I am happy and proud of my gender and I take every opportunity to sing the praises of women who are changing our world. I also know that as a woman who is also a wife and mother I have a responsibility to teach my young sons about these incredible ladies who made an impact on their lives with their inventions, struggles, words and determination.
I walk a fine line with it, because I want my sons to grow up with a rich sense of who they are as men and to find pride and self respect in their own gender, but I also feel myself working hard to share the stories of women.
I am also happy that my sons are surrounded by a circle of strong, independent and successful women. They always have been. From the daycare teachers who teach them and hug their bad days away, to the aunts who are successful business women and a grandma who recently came out of retirement to go out into the workforce again yet is such delicate force in their lives. Just like I was, they are being raised in a family that values its matriarchs and looks to them as an example of care, comfort and career, even if that career is simply raising them to be generous citizens of our global community.
It makes me happy that my sons see me work and write, that they can witness me chasing my own dreams and pushing for the idea of other moms, wives and women like me to take flight.
The world I am trying to raise them in is one where men can be masculine but still feel with their hearts, where they can enjoy a baseball game as much as a Broadway musical; one where they have a true and ingrained reverence for all women and work to treat their female counterparts with admiration and true respect.
I will be a very proud mom and woman if my sons are thoughtful, considerate and empathetic young men just like their daddy. Men who can enjoy a hockey game and still believe in equality for the sexes.
Our family might be a village of men, but the girl of the house is still a hero in their eyes.
Today, March 1st, marks the beginning of Women’s History Month. While I think that women should be celebrated all year long I admit that I enjoy 31 days devoted to recognizing the strength, character and accomplishments of my sisters in history.