women are rad.

Today is international women’s day. I’ve been really lucky that for most, if not all of my life, I’ve been surrounded by strong, incredibly intelligent women, and without them, I wouldn’t be the same person I am now. 

A lot of the dialogue surrounding international women’s day includes conversations about feminism, and traditional gender roles, and the way women fit into society. I don’t want to talk about that though. I want to talk about my mom. 

“Her grandkids are friends with the Kardaaayshians,” she said last night, and I started laughing so hard that tears traced tracks down my cheeks. I can’t count how many times things like that have happened, like when she said something funny and followed it up with, “don’t you dare tweeter that!” Or the time she told me that she’d rather look at Adam Levine than listen to him sing. My friends would talk to me about fights they had with their moms, the tears, the screaming, and I couldn’t comprehend having a mom who wasn’t also my best friend. 

I remember the first time my mom made me cry. It was eighth grade, and I was going to be late for school because I hadn’t printed a paper the night before. She started talking to me about responsibility, about procrastination. My over-tiredness combined with her scolding pushed me over the edge and I walked to the car that morning, five minutes late, still crying. Looking back on that now, what amazes me most is that I was fourteen before an interaction with my mother made me cry. 

She told me a story once. We were at coffee with my best friend, and I don’t remember how this came up, but my mom looked at me nervously before she started talking to my best friend. “I know I’ve never told you this, Katie, but when I was in high school, I used to fight with my mom all the time. We would have these long, drawn out screaming matches until our throats were sore, and because of that, I never ever wanted to have daughters.” Here we are though, almost eighteen years after she gave birth to her first daughter, and she’s one of the people I trust most. 

When I think back to my childhood, all my memories have her in them. Maybe not as the main character, but she’s in all the memories. Like when I was seven and we had spent a long, exhausting morning shopping for shoes, and she took my siblings and I to Febo to get ice cream for lunch. We sat outside Febo and ate ice cream and fed french fries to the pigeons and that memory is clouded with happiness. Or another time, when I was eight, and I learned to say panda in Dutch. I came home from school that day, excited to tell her, and all I remember is the look of pride on her face. Or when we were moving back to America from England, and three of my siblings went home early with my grandparents, but I was the one who she trusted to help take care of the baby. I was only ten or eleven and it wasn’t even that big of a deal, but I felt so honored and mature that she picked me. Or when I was fifteen, standing in the airport at a gate to a plane that would take me to the Atlanta airport where another plane would take me to the Paris airport and another plane would take me to the Middle East for three months. I didn’t make eye contact with her while I waited to board my plane, because I knew that if I did, I would see her start crying and I would start crying myself. 

I remember a few months ago. I slept in the loft that night. Right before she went to bed, she came out of her room and saw me curled up in the bed. “What’s wrong? Why are you sleeping out here?” she asked, and I started crying, and she held me while I explained that I didn’t know how to be happy here, so far from home, and there wasn’t anything she could say to make me feel better, but she held me and she comforted me and that was enough. 

My mom has always been an example of the kind of woman I want to be. The kind of woman who says, “I bet I could fix that,” instead of asking for help. The kind of woman who knows she’s right, but has the grace to admit it when she’s wrong. My mother is the reason I learned how to change a tire, how to check the oil in my car, how to do so many other things so that I’m not dependent on anyone to do them for me. She makes me want to be a better person, and I love her with all of my heart. 

Happy international women’s day. 

What women in your life do you look up to? 


  1. this brought tears to my eyes. wow. you are so blessed to have such a great mom, katie.

    i think that, out of all the women in my life, my grandma is the one i look up to most. she's wise and classy and graceful and forgiving and has the best laugh. i would not be who i am today without her.

  2. love this, katie. relationships like that are the best. so thankful for my mom in life, the woman i look up to most. we're one-in-the-same (which leaves no wonder as to why we butt heads), and it's crazy how much we're alike. i love her sooo much. :)

  3. Katie.. goodness. You are powerful and you don't know even know how much... x

  4. THIS.
    beautiful and powerful and honest.
    grace like an ocean.
    love you.
    xx h

  5. I'm going to jump on the love-of-mom train and say that my mother is also the woman I most admire. She would also be the woman I "most respect", but I yell and whine at her too often to say I act respectfully. I fight my mom for reasons that I wish weren't there, but at the end of each and every day, she is my best friend. Who has been there, standing back or by my side, for all my years yet? Mom. Who sings along with me in the car on the way to the grocery store? Mom. Who holds my hand at scary doctor's appointments? Mom. She is the strong, intelligent female - the one who never steps down, the one who holds herself together when I can't - whom I love.

  6. how sweet! this is very touching and real and really lovely.
    I have a fantastic relationship with my mom and would tell her just about anything and everything.

  7. This is so beautiful Katie! Certainly the best Woman's Day post I've seen today, and possibly one of the best posts I've ever read.

  8. this post - OH MY WORD this post. why why why I don't understand your words always make me cry.

    inspirational women in my life -

    my mom, who wonderfully raises and home-schools 6 children. need I say more?

    my granny, who taught me who I am; she slipped art and music and good literature into my life and now they are my all.

    ...just a couple, but there's many more. :)


  9. i LOVE these words. perfect as always katie.

  10. raw and real and beautiful. love love love :)

  11. Beautiful beautiful! Mothers are truly a blessing!

  12. Wonderfully written. Made me tear up!

  13. This is absolutely too beautiful for words. *sniff, sniff*

  14. FEBO! Swoon. you're Dutch!! Me too. :) I love this post.