I just watched the Madonna episode of Glee. It was great. The theme was that women are just as worthy of respect as men. I think respect has to go both ways and many women are guilty of disrespecting men as well. It made me think about my strong kids and wonder was I that strong?
I grew up with three sisters, I was the 2nd in line by 16 mths and then there were two sisters 5 and 7 years younger than me. So a definitely girlish household. We grew up in the country with a swimming pool in our backyard where we skinny dipped and wore no shoes. In the summer we would see how long we could go with not brushing or washing our hair without our Mom noticing. Imagine that with my crazy hair.
My dad taught us to shoot a rifle and have impeccable manners. My dad would take my older sister and I "riding around" on Sunday afternoon and we would listen to Helen Reddy, "I am Woman", "You and Me Against the World" and "Delta Dawn"in the gold Tornado on my dad's eight track. We also loved Neil Diamond "Forever in Blue Jeans". I had a boy dog named Sue (my Dad loved Johnny Cash). We went to the library every weekend and got new books ( we didn't have cable but we would sometimes break into one of my Dad's law partner's apartment to watch it on those Sunday drives). I learned to take care of my little sisters at an early age because we all chipped in. My sisters were my best friends. So we had a girly household but not your typical girly household.
Growing up in a very small town wasn't always easy. I wasn't athletic and there was a premium on that where I grew up. I was smart but guys didn't like smart girls that spoke their mind or it could have had something to do with their were only 11 or 13 boys in my grade out of a class of 40. My parents sent us on trips to Europe. One time my Mom went with me on the trip.The other time Kathleen and I went by ourselves to Europe and rode on a bus with people from all over the world (we saw 13 countries in 11 days, Kathleen was 18 and I was 19, no parents). To say my parents were not overprotective nor controlling was an understatement.
I loved being involved in college and "collecting people." I enjoyed leadership roles and planned to go to law school after college because I majored in Communication (not the most practical choice) and had nothing else to do. The week I took the LSAT prep course I started to fall in love with Brian. At the time he was getting the "Limbaugh Letter" and I was cheering Al Gore on when he came to MSU. He was the first man to love me just the way I was. He was not threatened by my constant questions, he went to church every Sunday at college, and he loved it when I would argue with his friends. So when it came time to actually apply to law school I knew I was going to marry Brian and I did not have any more interest in law school My dad was very disappointed, he really wanted me to come practice law in my hometown. We agreed to disagree and that was the first time I had to use my "I am Woman" traits with my Dad.
So when I really think about how I felt and acted growing up maybe my kids got some of their toughness from me, just not the athletic ability. It is so important for us to empower our sons and daughters, and encourage them to be all God created them to be. One of my best friends has a great saying, "You are just how God made you!" Amen to that sister!