Feminism

Dear daughters

12 October, 2017

I just found out it was International Day of the Girl yesterday, which is interesting because all day somewhere in the back of my head I had a leaking lament as we bustled from library to supermarket to home for dinner which was deconstructed sushi (I forgot to buy seaweed.) I’m not surprised it passed me by, these last few days I’ve been this tearful mix of exhausted and restless, I’ve hardly known what day of the week it is, let alone what Day of the International whatcha it might be.  Ramona and Juno have just made a narrow mountain ridge of mattresses and pillows and are jumping off their bunk on to it. I bid them good luck and sit down to spill these words.

 

Daughters of mine.

May I never tell you shush.

May I absorb your corrective “ACTUALLY, mum”  with grace.

 

May I be present

to your bombastic roars and your full body rages on the floor.

May I say “Mmmhmmm” appreciatively

in the dead of night

when you float a theory about Barbie’s Secret Door.

 

May I nod at your spun-out animal facts and labyrinth speeches

that last from breakfast to lunch and beyond and

may I squeeze Tim’s hand that he too might hold his tongue when you “ACTUALLY, dad” him.

 

May I make room for you in our dinner party conversation

ask you for your thoughts

like I might an honoured guest.

 

May I deep-breathe and tea-drink when you are in a mood for singing Avril Lavigne

at the top of your voice and I

am not.

 

May I de-brief with you when your friends say shut up and

may I not see it as a blight on your character when your face becomes a screaming mouth to be heard and

may I not see it as a blight on your character when you warrior-pose on the roof of the car with the last packet of toffee-pops begging to be seen.

 

May I answer your army of marching questions with all the truth I hold and

may I even beat the drum to keep your queries soldiering on.

 

May I swallow my shushes,

bite on my tongue,

fill my ears with the

sweet

audacious

sound

of

you.

 

For if, the research is right, you’ve only a few years left

of being freely opinionated.

 

A few more summers where

you feel able to bloom so boldly.

A few more winters where

your femaleness doesn’t freeze your voice.

 

Nine times less likely than a boy to speak up in class.

Four times lower the self-esteem.

Twice as likely to be insulted for showing  leadership.

 

One day the world will want you to be small.

Today I will give you all the space you need to be big.

 

dear daughters of mine

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7 Comments

  • Reply Hannah 12 October, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Sitting in a cafe crying. So, so beautiful Lucy. I needed this reminder, my six year old is SO STRONG WILLED and it’s so inconvenient and I need to get over myself. <3

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 12 October, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      Achhhh love to you Hannah x x x

  • Reply Sunshine 13 October, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Beautiful and wise perspective.

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 13 October, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Thank you sunshine x x

  • Reply Emma 13 October, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Such a gorgeous piece of writing Lucy thank you! My 1 year old daughter is fierce…I keep reminding myself that this is a good thing!! Here’s to BIG girls and women who speak up. x

  • Reply Rebecca 14 October, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    All the feels reading this Lucy and I could insert our exact similar examples for our 5 year old daughter. Thank you beautiful for being a constant source of wisdom and for always sparking and rekindling that innate mumma voice we all have. Much love xx

  • Reply Sarah 17 October, 2017 at 9:08 am

    This is so beautiful, thank you so much xx

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