A Fantastic Female

Last week, when I found out that Friday was International Women’s Day and that Sunday was Mothering Sunday (celebrated in the U.K.), I knew that I wanted to say something.

Circa 1998.
Circa 1999.

I fully intended to write a humorous post about my favorite females in pop culture. From Buffy to the X-Files, I was ready to celebrate the ladies. But then something happened. My mom happened. Or, rather, she texted me. And it hit me like a flying meerkat. I realized that I have someone in my life who embodies all of traits I find admirable in these amazing fictional women.

My mom is my Buffy. My C.J. Cregg. My Dana Scully. My Minerva McGonagall.

She is all of those fantastic female role models rolled up into one amazing person. My mother taught me how to be strong, work diligently and have an open mind. She taught me that learning is endless and that being “weird” doesn’t mean that you won’t have true friends.

She let me wear my Cinderella costume to the grocery store and my grimy overalls out to dinner.

Instead of beating it into my head that beauty ruled above all, my mom used to repeat to me, “You are smart. You are beautiful. You are funny.” She taught me to celebrate my body and value my intelligence and wit.

2006.
2006.

My mom gave me my work ethic – she has been a working mother since I was born and was a single parent for years.

For a long time, I didn’t understand why she wasn’t there when I got home from school. Complete, of course, with a plate of warm cookies like she had always told me my grandma had done for her. But as I got older, I realized that she worked, not simply to make money for us, but because she achieved satisfaction from it. And I know that’s what I’ll do too.

2012.
2012.

Maybe I’ll choose to have kids. Maybe I won’t. But whatever I decide, I am positive that she will be there to support me, not simply as my mother, but as a fellow woman.

I am a feminist. I am pro-choice. I am a student. And I have the strength to make those choices and stand up for them because of her support. Some might say that she does all of this because she’s my mother. And it’s true. But she didn’t just teach me how to be a good mother – she taught me how to be a good person. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

Thanks, mom.

Mischief Managed.

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2 Comments

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  1. I’m humbled. This is beautiful, and so are you. What a gift I’ve been given having a daughter who not only has these thoughts, but has the skill to express them so well. Ridiculously proud of you.

  2. What a sweet, wonderful and beautifully articulated homage to your mom. This made me cry and I only hope I’ll do right by my own daughter some day and that she’ll feel a fraction of what you’ve shared, Nat. Currently, I’m the ONLY mom in the world who won’t let her wear make-up and have a cell phone, so my chances are unclear. She’s eleven. ::sigh::

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