I have been reinforcing to Maria how special and unique she is since she arrived in this world.
I managed to score a personalized autograph from Gloria Steinem to Ri before Ri could say her first word. I read stories about strong women to her while we rocked to sleep. She met throngs of incredible female role models through her life: grandmas, great grandmas, aunts, cousins, colleagues, friends. Recently, after she made some quip about not “being skinny like other girls”, I taught her about affirmations.
“I am beautiful. I am funny. I am caring. I am strong. I listen to people.” These are a few of the affirmations she recited to me and her words were pure poetry to my mama/female ears.
So why would I be at all amazed at her response to me as I was fretting about mingling with my superiors at a work event Saturday evening?
“Mom, you just need to be yourself.”
I stared out my car window and smiled. Then I reached my hand to the back seat and felt her hand clasp mine. Our connection lifted me through the entire evening.