Barbie, bilingualism, blogging, Buzz Lightyear, E.T., feminism, Little Einsteins, outer space, Roberta Bondar, Star Wars, STEM, Toy Story
We’re going to the moon!
Please sing along if you know it:
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!
We’ll get there very soon.
If you want to take a trip;
Climb aboard my rocket ship!
Zoom, Zoom Zoom!
We’re going to the moon!
5 … 4… 3… 2… 1…
Z is for Zooming to the Moon – and all the hopes and expectations of parenthood and parent blogging in particular – that you can pack into that rhyme.
It’s an amazing new parent song when you think about it.
What could be more aspirational?
Hey new person! My child! Here we are at playgroup doing everything possible to give you the best start to life.
Be anything you can be!
Blast off into life.
To the moon!
Achieve great things!
This world cannot possibly hold all the amazing potential contained in your little being.
All the possibilities of your life and your future.
Just look at how far we’ve come since I was a child!
I couldn’t have imagined the world as it is today.
And when you reach adulthood?
Just try to fathom the possibilities and advances by then!
I see so much of the hope and wishes in that song in many of the parenting blogs that I read.
The questing to equip our children with what they need to succeed in life.
Figuring our way through the challenges in real-time and searching out answers and tips to help us help them succeed.
I don’t think that’s changed too much since my parent’s generation.
I just think blogging has expanded our reach and ability to search for and connect with those who have the answers we may be looking for.
It’s one of the things I have really enjoyed about blogging as a parent. I feel I have a support network online that is both ready and able to listen and provide constructive advice when I need it.
But moving away from that aspect, I also think space imagination – again tieing to that belief in young childhood that all is possible – and celebrating that – is far too pervasive to avoid a zoom in as I conclude my A to Z on life to date raising two young girls.
Little Einstein anyone? Here’s a rather fun remix:
Then as childhood really begins in force, space abounds!
And in case you think it’s just the boys, or English world, how about some Barbie, Life in the Dreamhouse from SPACE!!! and IN FRENCH!! to set you straight?
I spent some time thinking about how I’d end this A to Z about being a mother to young girls.
I mean, raising humans is a tall order. Full stop.
Then as a mom raising girls, I want to make sure they can experience their girlhood where it’s at with all the pink and princess there is, because that’s the cultural reality, while still balancing that with the great big wide world that’s out there.
In my early searches I paused on Canadian Astronaut Chris Hatfield’s cover of Space Oddity because, well, amazing and Canadian! I considered ending there.
But then I felt I was doing a disservice in not showing a female role model to my daughters.
Of course they can aspire to be like Chris Hatfield.
But they can also aspire to be like Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first female astronaut in space (1992). So, I started Googling and she has this rather fantastic Ted Talk:
For those not immediately watching, she a) has never been to the moon and b) talks about how to face the unknown.
She discusses the challenge of change.
And the fact that we need to choose to change – to accept the challenge that brings – and that in doing so we find out who we really are.
Much of what we prepare for in life is the known.
But her message is that all of our lives are uncharted journeys.
So how do we prepare for the unknown?
In space – much like life – you simply cannot know everything that will go wrong.
So we need to understand if we are going to be constrained by the known, that we won’t necessarily have what we need to succeed as we go through life.
Instead, we need to embrace change and understand what it means to embrace and engage with change.
Then, she talked about her own footprint in life.
And how this and her life to this point led her to the question:
Okay, what are you going to do now?
As it turns out? She wanted to be a photographer and use art to inform science and science to inform art and started a non-profit.
My husband, who is a photographer, was thrilled when he recently met her and got to engage in a Canon vs Nikon debate and generally otherwise hold his own with the first Canadian woman in space who, by the way, is also a neurologist.
All that to say? To my daughters:
May you reach for the stars – whatever your stars may be.
May you never think that something is impossible because no one has done it.
May you never think you cannot do something because you are a girl.
May you always respect the opinions and input of your elders – but never think you cannot do something differently – or at all – because you are young.
May you never think that someone famous is not also very human and most likely approachable.
May you find and nurture the friendships that will lift you up, support you, and help you be the very best you.
May you equally be that friend to others.
May you look for mentors in your everyday life.
May you dream big with a game plan to get there knowing your father and I will be right there cheering you on.
May you educate yourself to be self-sufficient so as to never really need a prince to rescue you.
May you find love and equal partnership with someone who deserves you and who helps you build the life you both want.
May both of you, when life throws either of you challenges, rescue each other and both be secure in the fact that you have formed a bond where, truly, you have someone who always has your back.
May the combination of all that you do in life – in balance – make you happy.
Outside Perception said:
…ahhh I just went from reading a Poem on a blog where it seems girls aren’t welcomed when born… Made me sad. To your beautiful post right after. I’ll say the same thing here I did there now.
I wouldn’t trade my daughters for anything in the world…
Also, good on your husband for standing his ground Canon is better 🙂
I’ll be sure to let my husband know Team Canon is winning the blog comment count 🙂 And glad to have been able to raise the mood a bit. I too wouldn’t trade my daughters for anything.
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Kim Richardson said:
Wonderful end to the challenge, Louise. And a fitting final topic if you want to inspire, encourage and support your girls … because nothing screams “possibilities” like the unknown of space. Life is full of possibilities and opportunities, having the courage to reach for them is the best gift you can give your kids.
Congrats on completing the A-Z! 😀
Thanks very much Kim! I spent a bit of time trying to figure out how to frame what I wanted to say here – and I think I got it. Life is full of possibilities and I think one of my main goals as a parent is to equip my girls to have the courage to reach for their dreams and the belief in themselves that they can do it.
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Mary Brearley said:
Brilliant – particularly the bit that pushes girls into the spotlight: great post!
Thanks very much! As for being in the spotlight – but of course, may it never occur to them that they shouldn’t be there.
Weekends in Maine said:
Wonderful post. I love your letter at the end to your daughters. Dr. Bondar sounds like a fabulous role model.
Have you ever heard the song, “Come Take A Trip In My Airship” sung by Natalie Merchant? It’s not really empowering more a love story but the space theme reminded me of it. When my girls were little, I wanted my husband and I to each pick a special song for them. This one was mine. I still remember an extremely stressful road trip where my oldest was crying in the back seat and as soon as I started singing this song, she stopped. For a short while, it was a magic song in my house.
I will have to go look up the Natalie Merchant song. I have a similar memory from early parenthood as I use to rock my eldest to sleep to Fiona Apple’s cover of the Beatles Across the Universe. There was something soothing about singing to my self about how “nothing was gonna change my world” as my life changed around me more substantially than it had until then. I still smile when I hear that cover. I’d also considered posting Bif Naked’s Spaceman here – and while I think Bif is pretty feminist awesome, that song is basically about hoping to be rescued, which – be it a prince of a spaceman – isn’t really what I was going for 🙂
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Aaawww, going to the moon, fascinating for both, boys and girls for sure. I got myself a sweater at Kennedy Space Center saying “I need my space”, and I love it!
We’re doing a “Top Ten Thursday” this coming May 4 about life skills we want for our children, would you like to join us? https://www.facebook.com/events/251556821919346/
Congratulations on completing a fabulous A-Z challenge!
I need my space too 😉
As for Top Ten Thursday – I do a post with 10 life skills I want for my kids? I think I could do that…
Barbed Words said:
Aw, I absolutely love this post. I think Roberta Bondar is my new hero and I’m basically just going to steal your message to your daughters to give to mine 🙂 It’s been such a joy to have discovered your blog, thank you.
And I love this comment! Thanks so much. And glad to introduce you to a new hero 🙂
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Yay!! We made it to the end and you certainly have gone out with a flourish! Great post and I must say I feel quite deprived to not have had the internet and other bloggers to support me when I was a mum. You do such a great job and your girls are truly blessed x Lovely to have met you through the challenge x
Leanne | cresting the hill
Thanks very much for the kind words here. I think the Internet is a tool like any other – and so recognize my parents just had different tools they used. But I must say I really like this one!
Sreesha Divakaran said:
I loved that last part about what you want to say to your daughters. It’s so inspirational! Loved reading about Roberta Bondar. Oh, and I wish I could contribute to the Canon v/s Nikon debate, but I’m still figuring out the pros and cons myself 😀
Congrats on completing A to Z, Louise! Loved reading your posts 🙂
Feel free to come back and add your 2 cents once you have more deeply considered cameras 🙂 And happy I inspired you a little here!
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