“Yeah,” questioned my husband. “Where did they come from? I didn’t bring them to you.”
My other daughter joined in and started teasing that I had a secret boyfriend or that some random man on the street had fallen madly in love me and had offered them to me as a token of his admiration.
I smiled and rolled my eyes before informing them that I had bought them for myself just because they were so pretty and happy looking. To my amazement my entire family just stared at me, looking dumbfounded, before going on their separate ways without another word.
I thought about that brief exchange later in the evening. Apparently, we have unknowingly done a huge disservice to our girls. I don’t usually buy myself flowers. My sweet husband has always been the one to do that whenever he gets the urge to bring me something pretty. It never occurred to either one of us that we were sending a message to our daughters that the only way to get flowers is for someone — in particular, a man — to bring them to you.
It seems as though all of our efforts and words towards self-sufficiency have been undone with this one tiny action. I can’t help but wonder what other messages I am unintentionally sending to my daughters and even the rest of the world.
I’ve always told my girls that they are fortunate to have been born in a time and a place where they have the opportunity to do anything that they set their mind to. They only half-listen when I remind them that all they have to do is work hard to make their mark in places where women only a few generations back were forbidden to go. I’ve always felt my words were making an impression, but now I have to wonder if my actions have been telling them something different.
My husband works in a very demanding field that requires many long and irregular hours. It was important to us that our kids had a sense of stability from at least one parent. So we made the decision years ago that I would take on the traditional female role of creating a home and raising our children. Despite the fact that society doesn’t think very highly of homemakers, it’s been a career I’ve been proud of. Yet, I now worry that my daughters may limit themselves to my example.
I’m probably over-thinking this. After all, it was a short moment of teasing that lasted less than five minutes. If I were being honest with myself, I’d have to say that the rest of my family doesn’t even remember the conversation. Still, as a mother — particularly a mother of girls— I have a tendency to worry about things that often never come to pass.
Even if there’s nothing to worry about, I’m going to start buying myself flowers every week….
“Flower Rainbow” Plant Life @ Flickr.com. Creative Commons. All Rights Reserved.