Friday, September 2, 2022

Reaching for the Wind

 I woke up this beautiful first day of September with my daughters on my mind.

Not surprising since I am learning to navigate my life without their schedules being the guide for the day.

They are amazing women.

My eyes closed and I tried to imagine their day, what they were planning to do, who was speaking to them. Not in a way of creeping into their lives, I raised them to be a independent, but in a "wow" kinda way.

The youngest is the bubbliest one, she was always ready to see the world and as an extrovert, always had a crew of friends. She is running for Senate as a freshman.

Her older sister is probably more like me, a bit reserved, definitely an introvert, but with her heart on her sleeve and a bit of stubborn determination, is fiercely independent and focused. She is a junior trying to figure out how to celebrate her upcoming milestone birthday and help out in the water crisis in Jackson.

What captured my thoughts this morning is that I accomplished my goal when I had them. After having son after son, I never thought I would have daughters or even have the capacity for the enormous responsibility of guiding these human beings to adulthood in a world that did not see them.

But I made sure they saw themselves and knew that their reflection held promise and hope, inspiration and intention, that they were beyond brilliant, beautiful, and bold. I wanted them to know that they know that they were wanted, loved, affirmed, and supported.

My husband's career enabled me to wrap my career around the girls, to be wholly accessible to them, to be hybrid long before the pandemic made it possible. Yes, there are parts of me that I gave up so that they could have all the parts of themselves, but what I learned through it all was that I needed to be precisely where I was during the time they were coming of age.

The shift from my very demanding brand and product marketing career to being a consultant, writer, and activist/minister, was not as hard as one may think. It was a natural fit for me and piggybacked off the volunteer work I did on the weekends when I was in that very demanding brand and product marketing life. I think all my roads led to me being a GirlMom by the time these young women came into my life.

So to be on the cusp of one of them becoming a legal adult, I just turned around, looked back in time and wondered about all that we accomplished.

They experienced their share of micro-aggression growing up in a predominately white suburb. We workshopped the situation, I kept them in opportunities to learn more about themselves and their history, my home was a library of Black excellence. They gained understanding and decidedly walked in their brilliance. Both of them were honor students.

When they chose HBCUs as their next stop on the way to life, I was overjoyed. 

They would be in an environment were they were just themselves, as part of the global majority, they could just be iron-sharpening-iron without the weight of the yt gaze or curiosity. And they are thriving, even the freshman who proudly had a mini United Nations friend group, has exhaled deeply in the two weeks she has been on campus.

I am content. Happy that I had a tiny part in forming them.


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