This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is honestly a perfect holiday to have in quarantine. I don’t much like going out and braving the crowds for Mother’s Day. Alone time is all I crave. And some low key family time. I was able to sleep in until 10:00 am. Woke up, got a cup of tea and got back into bed for an episode of Belgravia (if you liked Downton Abbey, you will love this). Then, just a day in the yard relaxing while the kids ran around. Watching Michelle Obama’s Becoming, a new documentary on Netflix, with Lateef after the kids went down felt good.
Becoming is phenomenal. It shows the real Michelle Obama and what she really cares about. She is centrally focused on helping others. With a particular focus on black girls.
While watching it, I started getting emotional. It was the combination of a few things. First, it was Mother’s Day. I felt grateful that among all the difficult times, we could have such a beautiful and serene day (we, as in me since I was in bed until 11:00 am). Second, I randomly picked up and read the book, I Look Up To Michelle Obama, by Anna Membrino and Fatti Burke, to Sienna before bed that night. This is a wonderful board book for all toddlers. I remember the first time I read the book to Sienna she said, “Mommy, that’s you!” and pointed at the book cover. This, plus the joy of seeing Mrs. Obama give so much to others and the hope she provides just by her presence is beautiful.
At the car wash after church – excuse the background
I became overwhelmed in seeing the way the young black girls that Mrs. Obama speaks to in Becoming look up to her. The complete awe in their eyes and the knowledge that I CAN DO THAT TOO is in their expressions. Representation matters.
To have a figure like Mrs. Obama to look up to as a child, as a young black girl, growing up is immeasurable. It is powerful and it is crucial. Each child should be able to believe that the sky is the limit. Even if you do not have someone in your family or community to look up to, having figures like Michelle Obama allows children to dream. Allows them to see no places in this world as unreachable. All children need to see this. For Sienna to look at this book and see me, her mother, means she will someday see herself as someone who can be anything she dreams.
Thank you for being a role model our children can look up to Michelle Obama. Thank you for being real, relatable in your brilliance, confident yet humble and not afraid to speak out about what you believe. When she speaks to people, she really sees them. She gives and truly cares. I aspire to BECOME more like her as well.