They tell you you've become a woman when you're thirteen.
You don't become a woman when you're thirteen; you don't become a woman once; you become a woman a thousand times, with every test you pass (or fail), every challenge you overcome with feminine wile, every obstacle you conquer with courage and a high tolerance for pain, every birth and death that shifts generations and forces you into a new womanly role, every bodily demand or medical scare unique to women; every fight you end with a hug, every cake you bake, and every pimple you cover up...
At 39 I've become a new woman; today I've become a newer, better woman than I was yesterday (older is a state of mind); and all the women around me contribute to the fabric of my being.
So, I thank them. I thank my mother, my sisters, my aunts, cousins, friends, cleaning lady, postpartum doula, lactation consultant, and more friends who provide examples of giving, nourishing, sacrificing, working, mothering, and becoming more whole as a woman every day.
It's a process we cannot stop. We try and try to move body and soul gracefully and sometimes need bolstering. Having been shown tremendous grace, warmth, and generosity of spirit during this pregnancy and postpartum period gives me a strong desire to become an amalgam of all the women I admire--to carry the torch, restore harmony to the community of women, and add my own unique stamp of sass and humor, skepticism and derring-do to the communal pool!
Authored by: Michelle Levy Blaustein