The Fixx is a weekly editorial roundup for humanists. It includes our favorite articles, happenings and cat memes. This week’s Fixx is dedicated to the women who have inspired us personally, in honor of International Women’s Day.
Badass Brenda is My Hero
The earliest memory of my mom is helping her change my brother, Drew’s, diaper. Little did I know that we’d have three more little ones joining the Schulte clan, totaling five kids in about six years. My mom always wanted a big family, and while we lived a modest life in a small town, we always felt happy and well cared for.
Mom is big on holidays, and she has always found creative ways to make them feel extra special. Take Valentine’s Day (which also happens to be our parents’ wedding anniversary). She would wake up before dawn to decorate the kitchen table with pink and red streamers, balloons, confetti, heart-shaped paper plates and cups… complete with goodie bags, a hand-written Valentine and Twizzler licorice that we used as straws for our sparkling apple juice. Heart-shaped Eggo waffles (with strawberry syrup and whipped cream) is still a breakfast favorite of the Schulte kids [adults].
Brenda’s skills extend far beyond her ability to raise children. This is a woman who has worked relentlessly for thirty years to provide for her family. During the summer months, she’d watch neighborhood kids to bring in extra cash, which at the time we figured was just her way of ensuring we’d have friends. She’s still notorious amongst our neighborhood for getting [tricking] kids into eating broccoli by adding “magical sprinkles,” aka spray margarine and shelf-stable Kraft parmesan cheese. Not gonna lie… I still love veggies thanks to those sprinkles.
When my father lost his job in the mid-90’s, my mom decided to go back to work, but being a busy stay home mom, she hadn’t had much practice using a computer (and we didn’t own one). I remember my father bringing home an old, clunky computer for the first time, and my mom working hard every night to teach herself how to use it. She soon landed a very impressive sales leadership role for a software company. Her career has really taken off since then, and she’s served as a huge role model for me in my career.
Today, Brenda LIVES for family car trips to the Gulf of Mexico, spending Christmas morning with the entire family, and finding ways to create impeccable interior design on a shoestring budget for her children and friends.
My mom has taught me the power of patience, the importance of hand-written cards and letters, and how to successfully raise a tribe of children and neighbors while balancing the rigors of being a provider and nurturer.
On International Women’s Day, I salute you, mom, not only for giving me life, but for being my number one hero. I love you.
Madam Rodham Clinton
I have loved Hillary Clinton since I was in elementary school. Her husband (I think his name is Bill) was President of the United States at that time and she was truly my first introduction to powerful women. She was my Princess Diana, my nano pet, my Spice Girls, she was everything.
In the effort to keep this love letter short, below are three lessons Madam Rodham Clinton has taught me that are true, especially now.
I am not less because I make more. Hillary outearned her husband in the 1970’s (GASP!) and proudly vocalized the message that not only was it ok, it was entirely possible.
Even when you lose, you win. In response to her 2008 Presidential bid failure she stated, “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it, and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.”
Don’t act, be. When that guy (did we decide his name is Bill?) was elected Governor of Arkansas she not only kept working as an attorney, she also became a first time mother and a First Lady of State. Instead of philosophizing that we need to, ehem, “lean in” she just simply did.
-Erika AKA Hilly’s #1 Fan Girl