We are both moms to girls. MaryAnne is raising two wonderful but very different girls: her oldest is an artist and performer; whilst her younger girl is a tough athlete. My daughter is also an athlete, dabbling in the arts. I also have a little boy, and I think this conversation should, and must, include raising boys, but that will come in another post. And no, this is not a sermon or a guide. I have lain awake in the dark to the glow of my laptop screen trying to find the elusive answers that everyone seems to be professing in so many articles about raising strong and powerful girls, but….we are not there. And I don’t have the answers.
I have been thinking a lot lately about raising girls, as many of you out there probably are in light of all the sexual abuse scandals and the #metoo and #timesup movements; movements that are both heart breaking and inspiring, I find myself uncomfortable with getting swept up in this wave of change. Yes, my passions swell and I so desperately want to see the changes for my children’s sake, and for all of our children’s sake. But my daughter has been navigating the swells and undertows of fifth grade, and it has been a rough year. It has sharpened my lens for seeing the social and school complicity in the culture of silence and antipathy. Change is hard. Standing up and speaking out is hard. Supporting those who do is even harder.