I have to raise a woman.
I shouldn’t say “have to.” I should say “get to.”
I get to raise a woman.
I get to teach her, to braid her hair, to read her bedtime stories, to watch her grow, to share her triumphs, to calm her fears, and to dispel any rumors she might hear about what it means to be a woman. To ensure she knows that there are no absolutes and no labels that define her worth.
I get to raise a woman, and tell her what I’ve learned.
That boys will be boys but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. That education can set you free, and freedom is highly underrated. That opening your mind, seeing the good, working hard, and paying it forward are ingredients for happiness. That no one who says they love her should ever purposely disrespect her.
I get to tell her that some would call an occasional designer bag frivolous, but you can call it an investment. That there will always be people who say you are too much of one thing and not enough of another. That mistakes are useful because they teach you what you do not want. That life isn’t always what you thought it would be, or expected in the least, and sometimes it can even be better.
That pleasing everyone is never an option, and making yourself a priority is not selfish but essential.
I get to show her that pajama dance parties have a way of turning the whole day around. That your credit score really is important, so take care of it. That laughing until your abs hurt is not only considered exercise but can actually heal you. That your heart can be fragile but it’s worth sharing.
That being strong doesn’t mean you are hard, and it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.
I get to raise my little girl into a woman, and tell her that someday she may get to raise one too.
I get to raise a woman, and in the process, become one myself.