She stared at me, her blue eyes so bright, you’d think you could see the sun in their horizon. She carried a backpack filled with books, her favorite doll, and another bucket full of little books just the size of her hands. I told her that she carried too much, that she would fall with all those things weighing her down and still she walked, relentless in her pace, eyes daring me, until she reached the door, stepped down and walked to the car. I threw my head back, a loud cackle escaping from my lips. This girl. In that moment, my daughter became my teacher.
A few days earlier, Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts, was reprimanded on the Senate floor and told to sit down. She was silenced. Later, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell when asked about his decision to silence Warren, told the press, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
On that morning with my daughter, I saw this quote come to life. I had been thinking of what it means to be a woman. Maybe it was my age or the current political environment. Maybe it was that now that my kids are a little bit older, I have the time to take stock of my life and of the way that I want live my days. All I knew was that the way she walked, a dare personified, was the way that I wanted to approach every day. I wanted to persist despite the warnings and explanations, in spite of the struggle and opposition.
The whole week, I had that quote running through my head but it wasn’t until I saw my little girl live this very thing that I realized how important it was for me to persist every day much in the same way that my mother and grandmother, that may aunts and sister, that countless women in history have done and continue to do. I need to persist for her and for the other women in my life. We need to do it for each other.
I want that girl who just wanted to carry all of her favorite things at once, to live her life that way. I want her to stare down whatever is trying to hold her back. I want her to never question who she is and to have the courage to fight for what she wants.
“And to all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” – Hillary Clinton
Currently Listening to: Set Yourself On Fire by The Stars