The #LikeAGirl campaign started up a few weeks after we found out that we were having a daughter. At the time, I remember thinking well into the future when our little girl would be in middle school and high school wondering what she would be like and what challenges she would face in this largely man driven world. I had never given it much thought, the issues, the challenges and the abuse that she might face in her life but when I did realize it, it turned a pit in my stomach. I then thought about everything that you have faced and everything that you are dealing with today. All those little and big things that you just swallow and never talk about. My reality shattered a little bit more. This world has not been easy for women. That is something I have learned more and more about since becoming the father to a girl and a husband to you. Some prime real estate in my brain has been spent thinking about how we are going to combat the injustices she will face in the coming years. How do we even begin? Now that it’s International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month is upon us it’s really easy to find an article, video or podcast about powerful and influential women that we can turn our daughter onto as inspirations. She will need more than just this month because questions still remain for her. Will she grow up in a world with a woman as President? Will she see a clear mix of gender in the corporate world, or on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley? Who will she read about at the library with great wonder about and try to emulate?
My true hope is that it’s you she continues to mimic. Because right now it sure is. Every morning when she wakes up she screams your name, “Mommy” she yells because you are her shining star. She is your shadow, following you from room to room, watching you with earnest intent picking up on everything that you do. For that, we are lucky because you are a strong, powerful woman. You inspire her creativity, you teach her what it is to be a modern woman, you guide her so gracefully, you give her adventure and a lust for life. You show her that a woman can have a successful career, she can manage to work 9-5 and then play with her, cook dinner, clean and then work some more. You teach her that it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to laugh it’s okay to want more, to want better and to rise above. Every day that she watches you live your life #LikeAGirl it stacks the odds in her favor to become an amazing woman herself. Seeing you being a strong multifaceted woman is almost the most important thing our daughter can witness in her young life. The only thing that is maybe more important is how I treat you.
For as much as our girl is emulating you, she is just as often watching me. Watching how the men in her life treat the women in her life. She is studying how we talk to you, how we comfort you, she is absorbing all of our mannerisms and actions around you. She is a living witness to all of the emotions we share, the conversations we have, the things we do to and for each other. All of these moments will tell her in the future what is and what isn’t acceptable when it comes to the way the men in her life interact with her. As time unfolds and our daughter grows I hope that I am doing as good a job at being a good influence on her life as you are each and every day.
So thank you, mother of our daughter, for living life #LikeAGirl and raising a pretty great one at that.