I'm often reminded of this when I least expect it. Most days I'm proud of them. Some days I just wish they wouldn't use their strong-willed attitudes towards me.
Kid 4 just returned home from her week-long trip to Washington DC with Junior National Young Leaders Conference. She had a fabulous time, learned a lot, made life-long contacts and was chosen for unique opportunities to improve her leadership skills.
But like a typical kid, she was home all of about an hour when the fighting with her siblings started. Which led to this conversation:
Me: Abby, please just stop talking.
Abby: I don't have to. I have freedom of speech. I learned all about it this week in DC.
Now, the parenting books probably would say I should have stopped right there and disciplined her for being sassy. Or I could have pointed out that my house is it's own little country and she has no rights under my dictatorship.
Instead, I stifled my smile, looked her directly in the eye, and said "You should use your powers for good and not evil."
She knew what I meant. She's a smart kid.
The other night I had kid 6 with me at the end of my 11 hour workday. At one point she got up to hang a sign she had made for me on my office door.
I thought it was just a cute little sign at first. Then I thought it was pretty intuitive of my eight year old. Does she see herself as a strong girl? Does she see me as a strong mom? Have I taught her she is a powerful being who should always stand up for herself?
I was definitely aware of strong, powerful women who refused to be silenced this week. Kid 4 was meeting with Mary Beth Tinker in Washington, DC. In fact she was at the Capital Building when the Supreme Court handed down it's landmark ruling against DOMA, a lawsuit initiated by 84-year-old Edith Windsor. Here at home, I followed Wendy Davis's 11-hour filibuster in Texas.
Do my little girls sassing me now or drawing me pictures mean they too will one day make history? Probably not. But I do hope they always maintain their 'stand up for themselves' attitude. I hope they never allow themselves to be disrespected. And I hope they too will one day stand up and fight when they see an injustice.
But, please, just not against me.