“Girls don’t take math and science; that’s for boys.” “Why are you wasting your time and money going to college when all you will ever do is get married and have babies?”
That is what my mother and my wife each heard from their grandparents. The grandparents were both very wrong!
My mother did get that math and science degree in the 1950s, and her class photo shows she was the only woman.
She then met my father and began a teaching career. That thing with my dad didn’t work out so well, and my mother found it impossible to raise three children on a teacher’s salary. So she applied for numerous jobs with better pay and benefits. She found one answering phones at the main switch board for an aluminum plant, where she was eventually promoted into the purchasing department.
My wife is currently working on her doctorate in education with two bachelors degrees, a masters and numerous awards and acknowledgments. I should mention she has acquired these degrees while working full-time and is currently a public school principal. She has bettered the lives of thousands of children, families, and me as she has worked to move the needle forward in public education for the past 20 years.
These two amazing women are now the examples for our daughter. She is so fortunate to be growing up in a time and place where the comments her mother and grandmother faced would be mocked in most circles, but unfortunately not all.
I don’t know what she will do with her life. But, I know more doors open for her each day— because of the efforts of the many women who had the courage to step forward when they were being told to sit down. With Mothers Day approaching I think it might be a good time to remember not only what they have done for us, but what they have all done for us collectively.
Happy Mothers Day and thank you to all!
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