I remember…

My mother used to say…
“At night I would stroke
your forehead
And send you to sleep..”
And I notice

Amid all the sound and fury
And protest
As the last tears are
Squeezed from eyes
(Including my own)

When everything has been tried
And I sit alone
In chaos

My own child
Closing sleepy long lashes
With each stroke

This is a gift
This caress of my mother
And her mother
It will be mine long after I have gone
Each stroke
A brush with memory


© Liana de Jong

“A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”*

I’ve always been aware of gender conditioning and actively tried to combat any lingering prejudices or stereotypes in my own parenting, even down to encouraging dolls with my boys when they were little. It’s great to read people writing about gender issues they’re experiencing with their kids. For too long these subjects have been discouraged or silenced. I’d love to publish some more creative writing on this topic, especially if you are struggling with a child who actively tries to move away from gender normative preferences. A society where everyone can be themselves thanks Gloria for those aspirational words.

Share your thoughts

* Gloria Steinem