It was always my goal to raise strong, assertive children. In addition, I was particularly determined to instill in my daughters a sense of equality. I never wanted them to feel as females as if they were secondary or needed to be submissive to males. I wanted them all to be comfortable in their individuality and fierce in their defense of the disenfranchised.
Mission accomplished. Each one of them has grown into their own strong and assured personality. There is just one small problem…well, more like one medium problem. The youngest child – Cheyenne – is only 13 and a strong and assured personality at age 13, while great in theory, is quite a different thing in practice. Attitude is already in present in abundance at age 13, but attitude from a strong and assured personality that is fairly sure she has her moral center firmly planted – well now, that is a special kind of hell. Oh no, I am not bitter. No, no – I am just tired.
Some days – days when Cheyenne is in her Gloria Steinem wheelhouse – I have to take a moment and remind myself that this is the strength I wanted to nurture. She is the fourth of four and as I look at the other three I realize that she not only has had the benefit of her mother’s influence, she has also had the benefit of her siblings’ influence.
As I said, I am tired. Cheyenne is 13 going on 32 and I am in the new forty feeling like I need a Life Alert necklace. Teenagerhood on overdrive – I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.
Day one thousand two hundred and thirty-six of the new forty – obla di obla da