I was helping Avery and Lily get ready for bed, when Lily stated that she is a girl and that I am a woman. I confirmed this fact with her and followed up with, “One day you will grow up and be a woman too.” Avery paused, mid-chapstick-application, and asked, “What kind of woman will I be?” Yeah, I wasn’t prepared for that one. For the sake of brevity, I answered to both of them, “You will be smart, kind, and beautiful.” They were pleased with this answer, so I decided to leave it at that. I mean, how could I ever adequately answer that question? Adjective after adjective rolls through my mind.
I can sense a quiet desperation rising up in me that I vigorously tamp down. Time slips ever faster through my fingers, and the days in which I shape their hearts and spirits grow increasingly shorter. Have I done it right so far? Will I manage to do it right when it’s hard, when the painful questions come, when the hurt is written on their faces? Lately, I’ve felt more like a cautionary tale than a role model. I can tell them a lot of what not to do, but will I be able to show them the right way? When I allow myself to look to the heart of the matter, the question truly is if they turn out to be a woman like me will that be good enough. Yes. I think it’ll be just fine.