She-roes lead with the Heart

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of Wellness and Spirituality:

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!…  Maya Angelou

Tomboy.  Ever been called that?  I was, and I liked it. I never dreamed I was a female until puberty.  Literally. During my nightime excursions with “Dreamspeaker,” I was either a neutral gender or male. There was actually a time when I awoke one morning and said, “Wow, I was a girl in my dream last night!” I was in junior high.

Until around age 9, I liked to play football, baseball, cowboys, army, kick-the-can,  and catch frogs in the swamp with my neighborhood buddies, most of whom were boys my age. In second grade, I bought a book:  How to Star in Football. (I still dry between my toes because it told me to.)

I had three sisters. The oldest was quite smitten with Barbie dolls and liked to sew.  She actually designed and sewed all the dresses for an entire wedding party, set it up with colored veils and the like, and photographed it. I made my Ken doll a Civil War Union soldier’s uniform.

My passion was for everything male. I fell in love, in my own little girl way, with all kinds of male actors…depending on the movie.  All cowboys, of course. Then there was South Pacific’s Frenchman, and Captain Von Trapp, and The Music Man.  Later, it was James Bond and Sean Connery and that was a strange time in my life because my hormones were beginning to kick in.  I didn’t know whether I wanted to BE James Bond or to kiss him.  Hahaha.  But I did know that I had absolutely NO interest in the women. They were mere shadows, necessary, apparantly, in the scheme of things.

I was disappointed when I  found out I could not try out for Little League, probably around 1962.  Didn’t seem fair since I was just as good a ballplayer as my friends. Fortunately, I was introduced to competitive swimming at age 10. And as the years went by, and the ole hormones flowed full force, I fell into the role of womanhood with relative ease.

My mother, God Bless her, was not a dynamic go-getter.  She was a gentle, fun-loving spirit who accepted the role she’d been given.  No questions asked. She was happy, it seemed, being a mother and wife. If her third daughter fussed and dragged her feet when it was time to put on a dress for kindergarten, so be it.  All in a days work.

So who were my female role models?  Good question. The women in my life were genteel, taking a back seat to the authoritarian doctors that surrounded them. They were housekeepers and bridge players, church goers, auxiliary members. Of course, ALL my elementary school teachers were women.  They were lively, sometimes jolly, fair, devoted women and I liked each one. All the women were positive presences.  Mrs. B, the mother of my best friend who started us swimming, was perhaps the one who stands out most as a bit outside the mold, a groundbreaker.

Now in my latter years, at age 57, knowing how it feels to be a mother and homemaker, I have to admire the women who held down the fort while I roamed the neighborhood, fantasizing I was a hero, not a she-ro. It’s never been easy to be a woman in this world and I appreciate that now more than I ever did when I was young.

Women in America are playing more public roles than ever before and that’s awesome. But as a mother of two sons, I occasionally hear them say that the men of our society are suffering from reverse discrimination. Men are loosing their identities and jobs as the women push their way into the non-traditional roles. Mothering and mothering correctly is SO vital today, perhaps more than ever before, especially in regard to our sons. And no matter where our paths lead us today as women, WE must be led by our Hearts!

So I’d like to send out a reminder to all women of our society, using the words of Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha. She once said, We are the ones that will heal the hearts of our children, sons, and daughters, and restore the value of life, all life……… Awaken beloved Women, let the Path of the Heart speak to our crying children and the next seven  generations, so that we can say,“We did our best.”

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