Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

15 February 2010

Gender Roles to Rainbows: A Mother's Love

RH Reality Check asked me to write a short something for Valentine's Day about love and raising the kid. Here it is!


I have loved my daughter all my life. It's corny but it's true.

Growing up I knew I would be a mom, somehow. I knew one day I'd be responsible for another human being that goes beyond my wildest dreams. While most women day dream about cute dresses and those adorable ruffle-bottomed tights, I dreamt of teaching her to keep score at a baseball game and to hopefully avoid the pitfalls that continue to consume me.

Six and a half years ago I had my little girl. She's as girly as they come, yet as rough and tumble too.

My daughter has already gone head to head with classmates who spout strict gender roles. While it breaks my heart to see her struggle, I love talking to her as a human being about what people expect of others, how we believe things in our home and how to react to difference. Again, she's six, so I have no idea how far our talks go, but she gives me glimmers of hope. There was the time she ranted to my best friend about how unfair it is that public restroom sinks are far too high for little kids to effectively use. During the Emmys last year she asked if the writers category was broken into boys and girls since all the nominees were men. "No, mija, but very good observation."

Most of all, I love that I am raising the next generation in a long line of stubborn and strong women.  

I love complimenting her on her intelligence. I love watching her discover how awesome her body is on the soccer field and on the gymnastics floor. I love teaching her to solve a math problem. I love that she knows the scientific origins of rainbows and still thinks that they are miracles.

Through all of this, she is also helping me to truly love myself.  

She loves my squishy fat belly.
She loves that we look so much alike.
She loves watching me give a speech.
She loves spending time with me (hey, she's six!).
She loves to cuddle with me so I can read her a Nancy Drew book.
She loves helping me in the kitchen.
She takes care of me and Dad as much as we take care of her.

If there really is a cycle of life, we're spinning through it each day.

2 comments:

I love this and have many of the same feelings about raising my daughter. She's 11, and I love when she points out sexist things--she even catches some that I miss! I'm going to refer to this entry on my blog, http://www.raisingfeministgirls.blogspot.com/.