Yesterday was International Women’s Day, but I’m still celebrating. (I’m one of those people who likes to celebrate birthdays and stuff for an entire week.) The day came alive for me yesterday evening as I watched our little girl take part in her second T-ball practice ever. She’s still figuring out the logistics of making the bat and the ball collide in just the right way, but Daddy (who used to play baseball himself) is at the ready to help with that. When it comes to catching the ball and, especially, running the bases, our girl is fierce! She loves to run, and my heart takes wings, too, when I watch her. I really love watching the kids do a free run from one end of the field to the other. There’s one little boy who is known as the fastest on the team, but our girl is not deterred by that. The “soccer mom” (or really, more of a “stage mom”) that arises in me wants her to beat him–and all of the rest of the kids, while she’s at it. She’s not far behind the first-place runner. She could take him! Go, go, go!!! But, then, I remember I’m a pastor and supposed to be a decent human being and supportive of all children. Funny thing, though. . . . As I’m experiencing this moral dilemma within myself, I look up at her, flying across the field with her ponytail bouncing, her long twiggy legs galloping, hot pink cleats pounding the red-brown dirt, face beaming with determination, exertion, and exhilaration. And I realized–who cares who wins? This is pure JOY!
To me, she is the essence of International Women’s Day, right there on our community baseball field. In that moment, she is being absolutely herself. Doing what she loves doing. She has space to thrive. She is championed. She is free. She is seen.
Cheers to our brave, strong, joyful girl–and all women–today and everyday.