Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Women We Become

I love Miranda July. I love her so much I even considered the name Miranda for baby X. 
I love her because her mind works well. She also strikes me as honest and brave and I like that in a person. 
I'm bummed that I missed her exhibition "Eleven Heavy Things" in Central Park.  Check out her site if you get the chance. There is some amazing stuff on there, and if you can figure out where the exhibition is going next, drop me a line! I need to see it. 
This sculpture is my favorite of the bunch. I've been thinking a lot about my hopes for baby X. I want her to be smart, happy, playful, and healthy. All the typical things Moms want for their daughters. I'm terrified of the inevitable loss of self-esteem that seems to happen to girls once they hit ten or eleven years old. I remember when it happened to me. One day I looked in the mirror and I saw a pair of hairy eyebrows on a ugly monkey face. That's all I saw in the mirror for years. I lost value in myself, and I'm still not sure why that happened. My parents always tried to build me up. 
Thankfully after some terrible years my self esteem gradually reappeared. But I can't deny that I wasted many dark hours dieting, allowing bad boyfriends to treat me as if I was without value or intelligence, and feeling like a huge loser. I don't want that for my daughter. I want her to be powerful and brave and know that her value as a person is not relevant to her bra size, dress size, or looks in general. 
Any parents (or daughters) out there have words of advice? Books I should read? It seems like it's never too early to start. 


  1. you already did her a huge solid by marrying and choosing to raise a baby with a man who loves you, who respects you, and who treats the world with focus and intention. i think that's the most important thing for girls really...or one of the most important things. to see their mothers being happy and healthy people. parenting is such a weird experiment..i meant to read books...i did, but then i forgot. and it's all working out o.k. you are going to be such a great mother emily. i can't say how i know it for certain, but i certainly know it. you'll have to forgive my gifting. i badly wanted a little girl.

  2. Amen, to the comment above!!!!! I am so excited to see you grow as a Mama! In my own experience, I have one major bit of advice! Whenever your daughters says, "Mama watch me!" Even if she is doing something she has done a million times before and you have a million other things that you need to/would rather do. Just watch! Always watch, always let her know you really WANT to watch and let her know she is worthy of being watched.
    Was that too intense? I have been struck lately with the importance of teaching your kids by example that they are worthy of love, attention and special time! I can't wait to meet your little hija!


  3. I love this piece by Miranda July. And I love that you are already thinking about this for your baby girl! Me, too! Congrats, btw! Ceci is just beautiful. And you're not the only one having crying fits...


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