45: Light My Way

45: Light My Way

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Empowered Woman

Light My Way

One of the most important things we adults can do for young children is to model the kind of person we would like them to be.

~Carol B. Hillman

I was sitting at the kitchen table squinting to see the small print. The overhead fluorescent light was broken, and I was awaiting the return of my husband from church to fix its tubular bulb.

My daughter, Hope, came into the kitchen and asked what I was doing. She was sick, and we had stayed home from church for her to rest. I explained I was having a hard time reading because the light was out. Hope asked me why I didn’t just go ahead and change it. I explained it was a tubular bulb, and I was just going to let Dad fix it later.

She put her hands on her ten-year-old hips and said, “I am so disappointed in you. You are setting such a bad example for me. Do you want me to grow up to be a helpless woman, waiting around for a man to come and rescue me? I’m just so disappointed.”

Sounding just like her mother, Hope shook her head and coughed her way back down the hall to her room.

She was right. I was setting a poor example, a precedent for dependency, a road map for my daughter to not try to take responsibility for her life and just wait for a man to come and fix up everything. There I sat in a dark room because I was unwilling to learn a new skill and give myself light. Why in the world was I choosing darkness?

I went to the garage, found the replacement bulb, read the directions, stood on the kitchen table and changed the light bulb.

Voilà! Let there be light!

I called Hope back into the kitchen where I sat reading the newspaper without squinting, right there under a bright new light.

She was so proud of me and could hardly wait until her dad came home to show him.

For years, I had been telling my daughters to be strong and independent, that girls could do everything boys could. But my words were pale in comparison to my actions… until the light finally shone down on me!

~Malinda Dunlap Fillingim

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