So far this year, I've received several emails and calls about my daughters. There are all sorts of situations--big emotions, talking back, relentless asking, arguing and generally confusing the heck out of the gentle folk in our lives
It has been exhausting. And truly, my first inclination has been to get riled up and choose between two options:
1. Yell at the caller and tell them where they can shove it.
2. Yell at my children and tell them where they can shove it.
Neither option is mature, I realize. And trust me, I know exactly who I am raising and I fully aware of their quirks and faults and potential transgressions. In fact, I am usually the victim of their quirks.
So, I hear you teacher/coach/administration, the Adkins girls are formidable opponents; but I refuse to collude in the editing out of their bold, disruptive ways.
My girls are badass and I'll be damned if anyone strips them of that.
Of course, they need some smoothing of their rough edges and they could use some lessons in patience and time and place. But, the important thing is that they feel empowered enough to speak their truth, even when uncomfortable and take risks every single day.
They are two very different girls--one is a steady, gentle downpour, who keeps at it. The other is a gale force wind, who will blow you down and then settle quietly, until the next round.
My steady downpour, Lily, surprises the world when she wants more than the hand she was given. Her path--as a survivor of a brain tumor in infancy--has been riddled with potholes. She's taught us that those potholes may trip you up, but as long as you have breath in your lungs, you can stand back up and try again. She's also taught us that you can ask the world for opportunities--without apology. Her diagnosis does not limit her--if anything, her diagnosis just gives her more opportunities to work hard.
It makes people uncomfortable sometimes when Lily asks for more chances--as if she is asking for something that she should not ask for. I think the world often thinks that Lily cannot handle failure, so they try to avoid it on her behalf. But those people just don't believe in her, yet. Lily keeps pushing them and demanding for them to see her, no matter the risk.
My gale force wind Chloe, she is the one who isn't scared to disagree. She is not afraid of conflict. She never avoids an argument. Chloe's force and her big emotions can be overwhelming--especially to her. Her leadership skills and her critical thinking and her sense of justice can be terrifying; but they are skills Chloe will use to change this world.
I think sometimes, Chloe's inability to be silent in the face of illogical or confusing situations can be seen as a disruption; but it is a disruption this world often needs to progress. Every time she expresses her discontent, she takes a risk. Every time she disagrees, some might see negativity. But, Chloe is the most positive, honest person I know. She believes in better ways and better things. She's seen and experienced trauma and sorrow as the sister of a girl who battled a brain tumor--the same girl who lived. She's seen what's possible when you don't agree and you don't simply sit quietly.
Those are my badass daughters--and I know by the end of October, there will be 7 more calls and 5 more emails and several meetings and strategy sessions and uncomfortable moments and failures and successes and joys and sorrows. I also know that they will rise up and keep taking risks and keep being exactly who God (and their mother) wants them to be: badass, change-makers and strong young woman who don't go quietly anywhere.