A little while ago I came across an article written by Steve Biddulph an Adjunct Professor of Psychology and author of 'Raising Girls' and 'Raising Boys'. I have to admit to not having read the whole 'Raising Girls' book but the messages that he writes about in this particular article struck a chord with me. He talks about the ages of ten to fourteen as being the time when girls most develop who they are and what they think and believe in. (Maybe this isn't too much of a surprise.) He then goes on to talk about the importance of other female adults in the lives of girls - adults that are not clones of us as parents.
"...they also need to meet eccentric, interesting, different and original kinds of women. Of all ages. Women who do stuff that breaks the boundaries - explore, create, innovate, fight for what they believe in, women of every size shape and kind. That way your daughter can borrow and steal all the great aspects of being a woman that she wants from a wide and wonderful palette. She needs real or surrogate aunties, people who stick around, tell her home truths, talk about topics we would blanche to even mention, but she needs to know about"
(full article HERE)
Now isn't that good advice...?
I set about thinking about the females in my daughter's life, and I have a mental list of lots of amazing women that I want to chat to her about.
I don't think we talk enough about the women close to us as we just take it for granted that they are who they are. We might point out the odd inspirational figure from celebrity land, but when was the last time that we had a real discussion about someone that we know?
I know plenty of amazing women. In fact, I bet I could find something eccentric interesting, different and original in almost each and every one!
Some women however can top the interesting and different category and can blow me away by their buzz for life..
Let me tell you about two friends of mine; Let's start with Vicki...
Vicki has a story - a story that she copes with daily. At the age of 19 she was incorrectly diagnosed with bone cancer and this resulted in the unnecessary amputation of her leg. It's shocking...
Yet this incredible woman is as resilient as is possible. She manages a full house of three children and a husband who is often away with his work and on top of this runs her own successful business.
Wait...on top of all that she constantly thinks of others.
I could break your heart with tales of some of the challenges that Vicki has faced yet she always finds time to do something that puts a smile on your face.
Now let me tell you about Lisa...
Lisa moved from England to Australia at the start of 2011 - right into the catastrophe that was the Brisbane floods! Shortly after the family arrived, her then 2 year old son Charlie was diagnosed with leukaemia...
Charlie and his family have been catapulted into a constant routine of hospital visits and treatments. Life has well and truly been turned upside down! There have obviously been horrid times, but Lisa has the most beautiful positive attitude and is making the most of all opportunities that Australia is offering. However, Charlie's treatment has prevented the family from being able to visit 'home'.
So in steps Vicki....
When the three year leukaemia treatment comes to an end, Lisa is planning to take her family back to visit England and Vicki has decided to fund raise so that Charlie can look forward to a big treat.
In Vicki's words -
I have decided to put my newest (mad) hobby of open water swimming to good use and raise money for him. I will be jumping into Salford Keys on Saturday 20th July.
Any sponsorship would be very gratefully received!! www.fundrazr.com/campaigns/aYVbf
I am so happy that my ten year old knows women like Vicki and Lisa.
Women who despite the obvious demands and difficulties that life has thrown at them
will see the best side of a situation and rise to meet a challenge.
I would love it if you could find something to support Vicki and Lisa and let them know that they are great!
Vicky's fundraising page is HERE
She also has a blog called 'Carry on Cancer' HERE
Lisa also has a blog HERE
Thank you, diolch