“March is women’s history month and in anticipation of honoring many great women and girls, I am kicking it off by honoring a very special girl, my own Brave Girl, Jordyn. From the time she was tiny she was a force to reckon with, shaking up our entire household, always walking to the beat of her own drum and never afraid to be completely out of the box. Teachers told me “not every mom would be able to manage her.” I resented that comment because “manage” her? That wasn’t my job. My job was to create space so she could define who she is and who she wanted to be.

As early as the age of 8 she was a strong animal activist and the only other person I ever brought on the hour rides to pick up the pups. She would sit in the back with the crates and let me know who had kennel cough (she was better than most vets I know).

She had a ritual of putting on her shorts and getting into the tub with the pups to bathe them, never afraid of a flea or two (or hundreds.) She made power points and presented to people on animal rights, ultimately raising hundreds upon hundreds of dollars alone. She was my PR person at every public event, handing out my cards to media and telling my story. At age 11 she decided she was going to write a book, convinced a private publisher to take on a child client and wrote the book solo for months, amazingly enough it got on amazon!

Last year Jordyn got up in front of a hundred plus people, did my intro and what ended up being (unknown to me) a tribute to me at the Brave Girl launch! She’s now transferring animal activism to advocating for people. And that’s my hope for every Brave Girl, to have that foundation and see that there is a connection between the two. Yesterday after coming home from workshops about girls and “consent” and the issues girls face even in 2016, she was enraged.

My heart soared as she spoke about her frustration and about someone needs to do something; she was so angry going on and on about how girls need to support one another. I stood there nodding my head like “Yes! I agree. That’s why I do what I do!” And then she tells me “I am going to do something. I am starting a program at school to make sure girls have an ally.”

Never have I ever been so proud to be this girl’s mom. At times she drives me beyond crazy with her PR spin of everything; her head strong feisty self that comes head to head with mine, her insistence and persistence to get things done her way. But yesterday it hit me. This Brave Girl is going to be an asset to our world as a young person and an older one. So I sat her down and said “J, I will tell you what my dad told me, you were meant to do great things! You have the power to make a difference in the world and don’t let anything stop you.”  Happy Women’s History month a few days early!”