Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers and Daughters

It has been eight months since Sara flew off to Macedonia to be a Peace Corps Volunteer. When she gets a chance, she updates her blog about her experiences but I thought this rainy Mother's Day Sunday might be a good chance for me to reflect.

Molly, who combines the roles of little sister and best friend is headed over for a visit. During her sophomore year, Molly worked two jobs, ate practically nothing and successfully bargain hunted for cheap airfare and on Tuesday, she will be flying first to Paris to visit a friend who is doing a semester abroad and then to Italy to visit another friend and then to Athens where Sara will meet her. They will spend a few days in Greece and then head to Macedonia. Oh, to be a beanie baby on one of their backpacks.

What I wonder is how did it happen that young girls now feel so strong and so empowered. Molly did all the working and saving and planning without any input from her parents. She set a goal, did what she had to do and now is embarking on it without fear. Sara did the same, although because of her personality, there was more conversation involved.

I am in awe of these women that are my daughters.

Anna Quindlen wrote a piece in Newsweek five years ago where she said that that having a daughter made her a better woman. My favorite paragraph in the article is this:

Each wave of feminism has believed in something called the New Woman. The woman who could vote, who could work, who could be truly free. I am the mother of the New Woman. She doesn't waste a lot of time tailoring the cut of her character to suit the demands of a world that has always had mediocre taste. She never milks her gender, and she is not cowed by guys. She has taught me to dare more and conform less, to cut down on my hypocrisy because she shames me by seeing right through it. Being her mother is like playing basketball with a crack player (and she is that);
she raises the level of the game of life
just by showing up.




16 comments:

The Texican said...

Happy Mother's Day. They are a compliment to you. Tell your mom Happy Mother's Day from me. Pappy

beth said...

happy mother's day beth...

this was a wonderful tribute to girls everywhere...including myself !!

KGMom said...

Happy Mother's Day--Beth.
I suspect you raised these wonderful daughters to be strong, resourceful, independent--all things you also are.

beckie said...

Of course you have strong empowered daughters, Beth. Look who their mother is. Never havng met you, I can still get a sense of you character from your writings. And always, I sense a determined woman who sets goals in life and then proceeds to carry them out. Your daughters are a wonderful tribute to you who have made them who they are. Happy Mother's Day, Beth!

Ann said...

This is such a nice blog! Happy Mother's Day!!!

NCmountainwoman said...

What better Mother's Day gift could you have than to have two stong and capable daughters? Happy Mother's Day!

Lavinia said...

Happy Mother's Day Beth. Your daughters are so accomplished, you should be very proud.

I read your post the other day about the woman in the nursing home and her friend who drove her places and was very touched, and meant to leave a comment. What a poignant story, as others have said. I'm glad the judge was wise enough to allow this friendship to flourish; it really provides a bright spot in this lady's life. You told the story very well; I like reading stories like that very much. Thank you!

June said...

Beautiful, Beth! I love Anna Q.!

Jayne said...

What a wonderful snippet from a glorious piece about women now. Praise be that they don't have the same gender/role issues so prevalent in our past generations. And what a beautiful tribute to you as the mother who gave them those brave wings. Happy Mother's Day my friend.

Ruth said...

My daughter and I watched a movie last night about the suffragette movement in Canada. She was appalled at the conditions women often endured in our society. Daughters like yours and mine are testament to the efforts of these pioneers to bring about change for future generations.

Carey's Corner said...

Nice post, Happy Mother's Day to you and Auntie Maine. Glad to see the bees doing well.

Tutta la Storia said...

Your daughters seem so strong and intelligent. I am sure that just by being themselves they give you the very best Mother's Day gift possible.

Beth said...

Great post - love Anna Quindlen!

Beth, with Sara still be in Macedonia in July? My three daughters - strong, independent, empowered - are traveling there together for a mission trip; they'll be in Skopje. It would be neat to connect them...

LoveANewIdea said...

Tears of understanding in my eyes...

Kathiesbirds said...

Beth, what a wonderful post! Happy Mother's Day!

julochka said...

i'm a little behind on my blog reading, but have to say that if your daughters are strong and fearless, it's no doubt because you raised them that way. :-) and that is a beautiful thing indeed.

i check in on sara's macedonia blog once in awhile, but she doesn't post very often. i wish there'd been blogs when i was there, i would have blogged the whole experience. :-)

although i'm a bit late, i hope you had a lovely mother's day.