a list & an extremely large umbrella

4 years and many crocs ago…

A smart Mom-friend posted a link on Facebook to a post, Things I Want My 10 Year Old Daughter to Know. I followed the link to Huff Post and from there to Lindsey Mead’s blog: A Design So Vast. Pokey thinks the list is so spot on she had to share it with you. Follow the link…go ahead, you can come back after…

The list feels especially poignant in light of the recent suicide of a young girl from a neighboring town. I didn’t know her, but I grieve, and I worry and I want to DO something.

When I was an angst-ridden depressed teen I wrote poetry. It helped a little, enough to keep me from most of the worst stuff. It made me a place to go where I could imagine something different for myself. I wish that she had found a place to go like that.

For Pokey, writing is still the best way to figure out what she’s feeling, but usually she has to do a lot of stupid before she can settle down and get to what’s what.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

A book that’s helping Pokey right now is Rachel Simmons’s, The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence.  I see my young self in this book, I see my daughter, I see how—even with the best intentions—we are raising our daughter to be “nice.”

Aside from wishing my daughter was nicer to ME, nice is not always what girls need. When you’re in a shit storm nice is not so helpful.

What’s helpful is a soft nest, a wet suit and a very large umbrella. (It would be nice if the umbrella came with someone to rescue you but I don’t know that we can count on that. I think we have to help our girls be their own John Wayne.)

Metaphors aside, how can we make sure girls have whatever it is they need to make it through whatever their particular brand of hell turns out to be?

Can we make sure? Will they listen to us?

I think the list is a good start. What do you think? And what would you add to the list?

How about a list for our sons? Should we make one here at PM?

It’s time to share.

7 thoughts on “a list & an extremely large umbrella

  1. We should make a list for our boys too, but this one should start with “be nice”. There is strength in letting others have their way, their say, and their day in the sun.

  2. Thanks so much for linking to my post here. I completely concur on the double edged sword of “niceness,” and think I need to read that book. And yes, yes, yes, our sons need a list too! Am thinking about that … xox

  3. For my boy – I would say that it is okay to show your emotions. It’s okay to be sad, or hurt, or worried and to share those feelings.

    I’ll try and think of some more.

    1. Yes indeed! I was going to write what June said.

      Regarding the original list, number seven (“You are not me”) hit a sensitive spot for me. My number one fear of having a girl (which I don’t) was that I would project too much of myself and my own wishes onto her, as my mother to some degree did with me.

      1. oh yes–me, too. I find it almost impossible not to project what I did or didn’t do on my daughter. Worry with love, but I’m sure, incredibly annoying for her!

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