Ode to Sadie


And your white-flour skin
Enriched with scrapes and bruises from your daily rendezvous with nature.

And your purple plastic heels
Carrying around your brother’s light saber
All sassy and tough
A delicious sight.

And your coy two-year old grin
Chin tucked into your chest, eyes up
Running to embrace me with your sticky, watermelon-soaked body.

With words like probably and amazing
A laugh that mesmerizes and engages
One tender and adventurous soul
Smart beyond your years.

A mom
In awe again
As I watch you absorb life
Living through you, because of you.

Nature’s perfect recipe, you are
My sweet, Sadie girl.


© Missy Willis

“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.

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* Gloria Steinem