Obviously this essay struck home for me. We are not in the business of raising likable damsels in my house. It’s a fun world, but it’s a hard one too. I may be biased, but I think my daughter is genuinely beautiful–enormous brown eyes, naturally slightly tan, blonde curls. But that doesn’t matter. She has to learn how to value herself for all her gifts: her tenacity, her articulateness, her imagination, her caring and tender heart. She also has to value those gifts that won’t always seem like gifts: her temper, her tendency toward individual pursuits (even at the age of two, the fact that she prefers to keep her own company and is not simply shy is too obvious to deny), and when that tenacity turns into plain old bull-headed stubbornness.
This morning as we were listening to music and eating breakfast (today’s choice was Ani Difranco), out of nowhere, Maggie told me “Mama, I am a tough girl!”
Sometimes I get to feel like I’m doing more right than I am wrong. And sometimes I know it for sure.