There’s not really much for spare time, these days.
Two busy girls and paint, stickers, blocks, mud, spit up. Extra curricular activities include laundry and hiding in the bathroom.
In all fairness, it comes with the territory, and it won’t last forever. In the meantime, I leave my sketchbook open on the counter at all times. When I have a spare minute (and I mean one) I’ll hover there and pour out my frustrations or exhaustion (or happiness and contentment, it happens too) onto the paper in quick, sweeping lines. Mini therapy sessions.
I’ve been drawn to creating portraits of women, some known, some imagined, with a theme of strength and resilience running through. When Pep joins me, we hang them up on the walls affirmations of the attitudes I’d like my daughters to adopt.
You are strong, smart, wonderful. You are in charge of your own body. You are beautiful. You are clever and you can do huge things.
Feminism, equality and a body positive attitude (I’ve suddenly developed an inexplicable appreciation for my soft, squishy, not ‘perfect’ body, and I’m running with it. #thingsiwishiknewat12) have become important to me, since Juniper cane along, coinciding with a certain misogynistic shift in international political climates.
I want my girls to feel powerful. To speak up. To say no. To exert strength and strive for more. I want them to love themselves and I need them to see the world’s cracks and flaws, it’s weak points and to teach them that sometimes we need to be bigger. And we should ALWAYS be striving to be better.
You cannot claim to be older and wiser, but resist trying to shape the next generation. You’re only wiser if you see what you did wrong and try to make it better.
A lot of people I know grew up around a lot of subtle sex ism and racism. Much of it not so subtle, but so much of it barely registers even now as offensive.
We can do better. And we should. We can teach our kids to expect more by teaching them to do better.
Let’s learn about differences, and how they can be strength. Let’s protect each other instead of fearing each other. Let’s embrace our rounded edges, our softness and our warmth, but flex our muscles when the cause demands it.