So, this is post number 50. Way beyond my expectations in terms of posting, and way beyond my expectations to have received even half the comments and people coming to look at our little slice of life.
It makes sense then to mark this post with something important. 50 is a nice round number after all, and sounds important. And I’m frustrated, and annoyed at myself with only leaving around twenty minutes to type it, get it out into the world and have this one go down as post 50. It’s been one of those weeks where other factors have crept in (our car being the main one!).
Today is International Women’s Day. By the time you’re old enough to read and understand this, you might wonder why we need one. After all, your life has been influenced by, and will always be influenced by incredible, strong and fearless women. You can probably guess a few of them (hint-you’re related to them). You hopefully will learn about those from other cultures and parts of history from school (and if not, you’ll find out from me!).
When you are older, equality will hopefully just be the norm. It should be now, but it isn’t. It annoys me. It’s important for you to know that. As a father of an amazing little girl, I honestly refuse to accept that you cannot achieve anything you set your heart on when you grow up. I also refuse to accept that people in the future will not respect your opinion, value your dreams, and may try and treat you unfairly purely based on your gender. I admit that I’ll probably make a few hypocritical errors along the way on that one, and apologise in advance. Challenge me if I do (e.g. tell someone they ‘run like a girl’). I expect you to go out and grab every opportunity that comes your way, and follow the examples of those around you. You will be every bit as brilliant as I know you can be, and your gender will not even come close to being a barrier to that. I’m certainly going to help you take on anyone that tries!
Here’s how I know you’ll be fearless, strong and fantastic:
- Your mum. Without her, I wouldn’t be half the human being I am today. She is the most open-minded, selfless person I have ever met, with a determination and willpower of which I am incredibly jealous. She will be there to encourage you, support you, and reassure you as she has done to me.
- Your aunties – they are not to be messed with! Both of my sisters have given me a massive respect for women, even if it took me about twenty-odd years to realise this. Both of them are independent in their own right, driven and awesome people to look up to.
- Your grandparents – There’s a reason I didn’t get through my wedding day speech without a tear, and I know your mum will never forgive me that it wasn’t about her (sorry!). However, she also knows how incredible her mum has been to her, and if she has just half the influence on you that Grandma has had on mum, then we’re going to be very proud parents in the future. Don’t forget Nanna too- there’s more than one reason your Dad is staying up till the silly hours of the morning typing this letter to you when he should be asleep. Nanna has never once made me think that women are anything less than their male counterparts. If anything, I am continually left in awe with her ability to care, support, get stuff done and frankly remember everything. Without explicitly doing so, she raised me to realise how important respect is, regardless of gender and I am forever grateful!
- Great grandparents – Even though you won’t get to meet them all, you will certainly hear stories about their achievements and efforts too. Don’t worry, there are some cracking stories to be told. All of those little stories though have added up to you being here. What’s more, it’s led to you having two parents that want you to grow up not even thinking that there is a difference between you and that guy sat opposite you in your classroom/interview/future.
a Dad who’s grateful to have met so many brilliant women in his life.
Okay, so maybe quarter to midnight isn’t the best time to start writing something important. If I’m honest, I’m just hoping that a) it makes some sort of sense, and b) sounds as sincere as it’s intended. Still, I think it’s a solid way to mark March 8th, even if I finished writing at 20 minutes into March 9th.
I hope that International Women’s Day continues to be about celebrating brilliant people for a long time to come!