Before you were born, I was going through a metamorphosis with my identity. My life was centered on roles of being the maternal provider for our family. I became the wife, the mom, the dinner provider, the cheerleader for your Dad and older brothers.
But, that began to change.
I still kept up with being who I was, however, I started to become cognizant of who I am as a woman. Then, one day, I realized that our family should have an addition, and I thought to myself that it would be amazing if for once, the universe thought I was worthy enough to be a mother to a daughter.
I became pregnant with you in my last semester as an undergraduate, and by then I learned all about the history of women and their fight against injustice, and for equality. I began to see my worth outside of who I thought I was, and I began to relish what this worth truly meant for my autonomy. I wasn’t just a daughter, a wife, a mother, an aunt, a sister, a niece–I could be much more. When the ultrasound technician informed me that I was going to have a daughter, my world changed. I started to see the world in a new way, and I wanted it to be better for my children–but, most importantly for a daughter who will one day grow up to learn what it means to be a woman in a society who only sees her only as second to a man.
You became my reason for wanting this world to be better. When I grew up, I was never cognizant about how the issues outside of my own life–no one has ever taught me about the value of giving back to the community, or speaking my mind. When I look back, I believe it was my grandmothers who showed me what it means to be a woman and to devote oneself to a cause. It wasn’t until in my late 20s, that I began to see when I’d read about the injustice served to young girls and women around the world, I think of the devastation that our fellow sisters have suffered, and each time I sought the comfort of fighting for equality and humanity. I think of the many possibilities that you could easily be one of those women, and that thought alone lit a fire within me that it drove me to always speak for the voiceless, and to do what I can to help eradicate such injustice–even if it’s something as small as speaking my mind.
You just experienced your first rally demonstration to fight for the future of your schools. I walked beside you as you held your sign up high, and your face expressed a determination that I wished I had when I was your age. You marched and chanted “save our schools!” and “no more cuts!” with such passion that I stood behind you to watch you in awe. You may not have understood the speeches about the amount of money that the legislature is willing to take away from your education, but you knew in your core that what they were doing was wrong and you understood the importance of a good education for you and your peers.
You are becoming and evolving into your own person, and you are only 14 years old.
One day, I hope that you look back at the times that I’ve taken you to public key note speakers (most especially the one with Gloria Steinem when she visited Alaska), and I hope you look at them with fondness along with the determination to understand that your mother wants/wanted a world for you that is much better than it was when she was growing up.
Most importantly, I want you to continue to search for your voice. You may stumble along the way, but look at such stumble as a contribution to your overall growth as a human being. And when you do find your voice, it is my hope that you hold fast to your convictions with the understanding that you will continue to learn along the way.
On this Mother’s day, as the country celebrate all of the moms out there–in my heart, I am celebrating your brothers and you. I am celebrating the simple reason that you are going to grow up as a woman who will have a choice one day to be a mother, or not to be one–but most of all, to be who you are because you were raised to embrace who you will become.
Mama loves you.