Welcome to the week of the woman. I am a woman that has been married 30 years and raised two girls. As I ponder the idea of President Carter declaring March 8, 1980 as the week of the woman, it occurs to me that women have been the last population recognized as having a voice.
As I was tinkering with my own ancestry, it came to my attention that my paternal aunts that lived in Northern Mississippi, in a family of nine children, were college educated and became teachers themselves. One of my aunts passed a couple of years ago at 103 years of age. What a blessing to have parents that supported her and her sisters in an education beyond the basics of cooking, cleaning, sewing and raising children. It came to me the rarity, of not one, but three young girls valued as more than domestic ornaments. My aunts were educators and made their mark being unique. They were home educating while their brothers were fighting for our country.
In today’s environment of equality, women have to forge their own way. It is still an uphill struggle to acquire a job or career that has equal pay for equal work. When my husband and I brought into the world two beautiful girls, we had no idea of the responsibility. Men are very important in fostering girls in striving to be the best person they can. My husband was right there teaching my girls how to play hockey, hammer a straight nail, and how to handle themselves with their male counterparts. It is just as important for dads, brothers, husbands and male friends to value girls as people.
As a woman, I recognized the importance of instilling self-confidence in my girls. My husband, their father, also recognized the importance of building our girls into capable people. We established a strong family unit that required that everyone behave with high standards. Dabbling in or trying new things was encouraged while discovering their uniqueness and gifts. Our daughters have grown into strong, capable, loving and strong women. It is exhausting to take on a project with the level that is required to do it right.
Reading to the girls when we had not slept for a couple of nights, sitting in the cold rain during a soccer game, making flower chains, taking fish off a line, trail rides, museum exploration, digging in the garden, being an example are all things that make a child a person that will give back to her world. When we teach our girls, we are teaching our grandchildren and future generations.
by Jackie Moore Wagner
Picture by Jackie Moore Wagner (my daughters)
Originally published On Yahoo March 2014