What Girls Need From Us
I have two daughters, one thirteen and the other five so as you can imagine we are pretty much all over the place. I have had some pretty intense conversations with my thirteen year old this week and I also attended a princess party so needless to say, I’m taking it as it comes. But there I something so precious about raising girls. From side pony tails to plucking your teen’s eyebrows and relating to her squirming from pain. Motherhood has been the best part of my life.
Now, I’m starting to see my first born evolve into her own person and as I was reminded this week, I can’t always be there and at some point I will have to release my grasp on this overprotective bubble I have placed her in and trust that I have equipped her to start handling some situations that come her way. Don’t get me wrong, not on her own, but to allow her to take a step with me as we walk through these first life experiences. It’s that first hand hold or Lord forbid, a first kiss.
I’m starting to sweat.
Like I said, this past week was intense and I answered questions that I didn’t even think were on the radar for years to come. It left me feeling helpless. I walked up the stairs and I begged God to do what I couldn’t do. I needed him to protect her, to guide her, and to surround her with the right people.
The whole week, it has weighed on me and my perspective to begin to move from just my daughter to what legacy we as women are leaving for the girls coming up behind us. In some ways, we are making great strides. The demand for equality in the workplace and treatment has forced the world to take notice, but even to me that can feel so much bigger than my little world. Are we showing the girls around us women that are looking toward God? Do they see us gathering to support each other rather than criticizing each other? Do they know they’re worth and are willing to stand up against other’s opinions?
This matters. I know because in so many ways I learned these lessons the hard way and no matter how many eye rolls we get or how many times they tell us that we are too overprotective, we continue to ask how their day was, we know who they are hanging out with and we encourage them to be kind to other girls.
Don’t think they don’t see how we treat each other either. I want my girls to see me pray for other women, to give to those who cross my path and not to reserve this for only people who are in my tax bracket or share my same beliefs. They need to see women who are successful in their fields, but maintain their integrity. Girls need to know they are more than the number of followers they have. I hope they see women who live fearless and bold lives.
It’s a tall order for the women in today’s culture. I’m in the trenches with you: shuttling this kid here and getting the other one there. But just as I can’t be everywhere to protect my daughter, one person can’t influence an entire generation, but my prayer is that God will use our willing hearts to help shape a generation of women that can transform the world.