I'd received a few emails from various friends about going to see Girl Rising. They all had the same tone: "Let's take our daughters to this movie.....so they can see how lucky we are, etc. etc"
It was a week already too-full-of-activities, so I politely declined all invitations.
Then daughter D came home from school yesterday and said that friend R wanted to see the movie. Instantly, I bought tickets and rearranged the entire schedule to make it happen. R recently moved from a small African country and is in D's class. She is simultaneously learning a new language, culture, climate, school system. I suspect it is difficult.
D was having a tough time a few months ago - truly nothing out of the ordinary - run of the mill teen friend issues combined with a medical scare combined with just turning 13. I ran through all my parenting techniques of attempting to be supportive, encouraging, upbeat. To no avail.
...and then friend R gave D a handmade book for her birthday. It was called "All the great things about D" - and each page was dedicated to a different nice thing about D. some big. some small. all illustrated. The look on my daughter's face as she read the book will stay with me forever.
If our house burns down, the first thing I'm grabbing is that book.
And now R has given me an amazing gift - this movie was so incredibly powerful. Turns out, it was the very first movie she has ever seen. Turns out, there might not be very many degrees of separation between her life and beautifully strong girls we watched tonight.
So, watch out world.
I do feel lucky after seeing that movie. But not because we live "here" instead of "there." I feel lucky because my daughter is blessed with friends like R, who demonstrate strength, kindness, and perseverance.
And I think it is NO coincidence that half the teachers at their middle school were there - each with groups of girls of their own. Public education is the key to Girls Rising - all over the world!