By Brenda Willis
March 5, 2020
(Canada late 1980s)
A girl is nervous as she’s escorted to a new first-grade class.
“No need to fear, take my hand, we’ll go together.” the teacher says, “Where are you from?”
“Texas!”, the girl says proudly.
“Oh, so it’s not even a city. It’s just “Texas”? she smiles.
The girl nods her head.
“Well okay, welcome.” “Everyone, this is Brenda from Texas. Take your seat.”
(Fast-forward) El Paso, Lower Valley 6th grade recess
a group of girls asks “Where are you from? Why do you talk so funny way?”.
The girl responds “I’m from here again and no YOU talk funny. I bet I can beat you at jump rope!”
The girls look at each other, take the girl’s hands and lead her back down a hallway “Okay, but not now. You’re already late. Your class is down that way. Do you want to borrow my lipstick?”
Later that day – the girl’s older sister laughs and says, “No, dummy they didn’t say “way”. They said “guay” it’s a slang term here. It depends on how they said it…”
Her eyes narrow, “Were the girls mean to you?”
She grasps her little sister’s hand and makes it into a fist, “If you need to defend yourself, keep your thumb outside. Otherwise, it’ll break if you hit someone hard enough.”
There are thousands of “life” snapshots – many thousands of stories of female guidance.
I’m sure you have your stories too.
So since it’s International Women’s Day on Sunday, it’s relevant to point out those standing up, speaking out…voting.
Basically not anesthetizing yourselves to what’s going on.
It’s really important. It’s truly brave. Because yes, it’s definitely exhausting.
You have influence, even if you think you don’t.
Y’all moms look to moms, we all women look to women, – I, as a Latina look to other Latinas. All of us have multiple angles.
A nod of acknowledgment to my fellow gals – take my hand if you need to, and I’ll take yours. Let’s do this.
P.S. – an ode to men on another day (because of course there are many stories there as well)