Saturday, June 14, 2014

ya yas.

I am blessed with aunties and godmothers and more.

By more, I mean women who have always been in my life - women my mom has known since college or women who are distant cousins but awfully close anyway. Even my brothers' mother-in-laws have fallen into my village of wise and compassionate women, good at cheering me on and loving my life. It's pretty amazing.

When I found out I was having twins, I was terrified that this life would be too much for me. It sounds a little silly now, but I was certain I would get fired and slowly die under a pile of Hostess cupcake wrappers, my friends all wondering what had happened to me. I knew I'd be a hot mess - and I am - but I underestimated the Ya Yas.

Liz & Tove
Women came around me with diapers and meals and long afternoons of baby holding. They prayed for me, sent supportive emails, and loved my girls with the same confidence they've always loved me. These women are more than family members or friends of my mother: these women are my Ya Yas and I'm not sure I'd be this happy in my skin as a woman today without them.

In watching these women with Solveig and Tove, I started thinking about the next generation of women who will surround them. They will have wonderful grandmothers, aunts, and cousins. I have fabulous friends they will grow to love through FaceTime and play dates. But in the midst of so many things, experiences, and people they will have to share, I wanted to give them each a Ya Ya all their own. I wanted to make our family a little bit bigger - by adding a woman who will be uniquely theirs.

Molly & Solveig
Molly and Liz were easy choices. These are strong, vibrant, funny women who will champion my daughters along the way. (They are also just weird enough that, after confirming that I am indeed making this honor up out of thin air, they still agree to be Ya Yas with wholehearted enthusiasm.) I am already grateful for their special attention, the affection they give the girls, and the new layer we've added to our own friendship.

I wish the power of these female bonds for every little girl. It seems to matter that we grow up with lots of different kinds of women in our lives, each being true to herself and each supporting another as she does it differently. Because it is through the different generations and choices and expressions we become more attune to ourselves and more in awe of the wideness in which we all get to be Women.

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