I know that the election’s over and we’re all a bit shocked. For those of you who think I’m about to go on a political rant, don’t worry. I won’t.
My daughter’s twelve and has been paying very close attention to the election. Her strong feelings caused her to become outraged as various political individuals talked about or did various political things. Her core strength flared and she stood in the doorway of the world and watched as things twisted and curled around itself like a pile of snakes strangling their prey.
She wasn’t able to do anything. She’s twelve. She can’t vote….yet…She wasn’t like the kids we heard about on NPR who were going to local universities and high schools to encourage people to register to vote. She didn’t do much of anything on election day other than go to the city center with my family and me so we could do fun shopping in the coolest part of town.
She ate specialty chocolate, had a corndog, dreamt about getting socks that had a picture of a little girl on them followed by the captian “Hellraiser.”
Yup, that’s my girl, my little hellraiser.
A month ago, the Girl and I were going to the mountains. I had just received the scholarship to attend the writers’ conference and was desperate to write and so emotionally blocked up, I swear I had literary constipation. I was hoping that going to the mountains would inspire something.
My daughter decided to go to the specialty center/high school for leadership.
When she was two, my father warned me about my daughter. He recognized her stubbornness, her strong spirit. He told me that I was going to have my hands full if I didn’t keep on top of her and show her that “no means no” and that my way was the only way.
And my dad was right. The Girl is powerfully stubborn, so much so that she is powerfully frustrating. In spite of the fact that I’m trying to raise her to be a good Christian woman, I also allowed her to flick off some of the campaign signs because she was so angry at how candidates were acting, saying, behaving, etc.
I’m an independent. Don’t try and read into what I am writing or not writing. I really don’t want to engage in a political discussion about this or that, or how I’m a terrible Christian or a terrible parent. I already know both.
The fact is, I encourage my daughter to have an opinion. And she has one. One that was formulated by listening to the news, by asking questions about both of the main candidates. She and I talk about politics and the government and history. We talk about how actions lead to events which create consequences which is why we need to study history.
Over the summer, she toyed with being an English teacher. This changed to her wanting to be a science teacher. And now she wants to be an astrophysicist because she loves Star Wars. And she’s not like the typical girl who loves Han Solo (much like myself) or the new heroine Rey. My daughter is obsessed with Chewbacca. I don’t know why. I just know that my daughter is different from everyone else and I’m damn proud of her for being this way.
So, as the Girl and I were driving to the mountains, I told her about what my father said. I told her about how I could see that she was a strong person and had a powerful strength to her that made her indomitable. I told her that she is the type of person I believed would one day show up in the history books. And I told her that I would prefer to read something positive about her as opposed to negative.
She became quiet, looked out the window and listened to me as I talked with her about all the leadership qualities I see within her. Not just the fact that she’s stubborn. She takes control of everything she can. She always ends up leading the group projects. She has served on the principal’s advisory board. She is currently her class’s SCA representative. When she would talk to the principal, she really did try and give advice, not just tell him all the wonderful things he might want to hear. He even scolded her for saying the word “sucks,” but she was trying to advocate for others because she saw genuine issues in the school. Even now, her principal has scolded her for arriving to school early. And as opposed to quietly accepting his criticism, my daughter (hopefully she was diplomatic and polite) explained that she is on a waiver and is not able to ride the bus. The principal merely told her that she needed to start riding the bus (which she can’t). She repeated the reality which he ignored.
Now my darling daughter enjoys arriving at school early so that she can greet her principal every morning. She’s not exactly being the best child.
But she’s showing her indomitable spirit.
Our country has a new president. And I pray that all will go well for the next four years. I have been praying about this election for weeks and will continue to pray and pray because I have another twenty-three years before the Girl will be thirty-five.
I don’t know that she will actually run for president. I really don’t care so long as she is a law-abiding citizen who cares for people and does her best not to hurt others. But, I still have this feeling that I have a history-book writer in my house (possibly two given the exceptional compassionate spirit of my son). But I look at my courageous, strong-willed, friggin’ stubborn daughter and have no anxiety about the “glass ceiling.”
My daughter will not be held down. My daughter will plow ahead and will follow whatever destiny God has set before her and she will triumph. I know this. And I pray that she will be able to go to the leadership speciality center because my daughter is not that tactful when expressing her opinion or making suggestions which sound a lot more like demands.
My daughter is the hammer that the glass ceiling trembles over. She is not necessarily feminist. She is definitely not anti-male. She is pro-humanity. Pro-justice. Pro-equality. She is a young woman who knows how to use power tools and is an incredible hiker even though she hates exercise. She knows who she is and is not afraid to express her opinions. She’ll stick her tongue out at me in church and dare me to laugh. She’ll pick me up after I fall.
So, no, I’m not going to rant. I don’t need to rant. I have a hammer. She’s in her room, right now, playing Minecraft, creating her world. I just can’t wait to be part of it.