This post is sponsored by Netflix
So despite my best efforts and hopes and dreams- I could not give my daughter the sister I always hoped she would have. It turns out pregnancy was not my finest hour and apparently the powers that be would agree with me as getting knocked up with my son took a Hurculean effort and involved way too many trans vaginal sonograms, blood tests and yes the tragedy of losing his twin in the process. And while there are moments I wish I could be one of those women who luxuriated in the glow of pregnancy and was successful at it and was therefore able to reproduce another human being who might possibly be of the feminine persuasion so that my daughter might have that built-in- best girlfriend, I also know that even if I did by some miracle get knocked up ( and TRUST ME IT WOULD BE A MIRACLE) there are no guarantees that my daughter and this “Phantom sister” would be soul mates. And this is the first lesson I want to impart on my 15 year old:
#1 There are no guarantees in the life, which is why you need to take each moment and see it as a gift to be savored. I know, at the tender age of 15 savoring something is reserved for a brownie, but sweet Madi, the next time you feel happy I want you to let yourself REALLY FEEL IT and enjoy that very moment.
#2 A sister does not need to be a blood relative. You can find sisters in so many women, as long as you are open to the possibility and belief that girls and other women can be your greatest supporters ( you just need to let them in) and rejoice in the sisterhood you will find in days like International Women’s Day ! And since studies have shown that girls as young as six are influenced by gender stereotypes, and that role models from the entertainment they choose can have a lasting effect it gives me great comfort in knowing that Netflix is home to girls who mean business and that you can see powerful girls like you in these characters… Whether it’s Violet’s quick wit, Elena’s activist mentality, or Deidra & Laney’s unorthodox thinking, there’s something for every girl to relate to. And strong female characters aren’t just important for girls. Boys are growing up with Eleven saving the crew and Tip showing that true friendship knows no bounds.
#3 This too shall pass. I know in the moment some of your feelings are so utterly monumental and while I as your mother look at these social situations and want to tell you not to sweat the small stuff and think about whether or not you will even remember or care about this in five years from now, I validate your feelings. But please, please remember that this sadness or anxiety is all part of the process of growing up and please know that I wish I could take it away, I wish that I could tell you to stop worrying about it- but I know that you need to experience this pain in order to truly experience pleasure. And while I want to hug you, even though you are not into your mom ” smothering you” I will try and be less handsy and not as helicopterish if your PROMISE me you will remember that these feelings you have won’t last forever and that if and when you need to talk to me, I will listen without judgement.
#4 You are beautiful. Period. I know we live in a society where people are LOSING THEIR minds over this quest to remain youthful- a culture that holds women to an unrealistic standard of beauty- please remember this… Your beauty comes from your heart, it comes from your mind and it has never and nor will ever be predicated on anything but that. Men will NEVER get the same kind of scrutiny. JUST DON’T LISTEN.