Our Heroines

IMG_8491 A sweet little nuthatch we saw in our yard. A few minutes later we heard its mama chirping high in the sky, and then witnessed their joyful reunion.

I'm participating in a meme I saw at SheWrites. The topic was near and dear to my heart. It simply asked, "Who are the women who inspire you?" It's something I've been thinking a lot about lately so this was very timely. 

I already posted about my grandmother, who raised five daughters and one son with remarkable poise. One of the daughters she raised, my mother, was very similar to her and was the inspiration behind my starting this blog – I wanted to remember and to transmit the kind of simple, joyful childhood she helped create.

I also have a friend, Marie, who is battling illness with amazing serenity and joy. Whenever I spend time with her I come away feeling a renewed determination to live life with gratitude and with generosity. I fall short of that ideal too much of the time but love having a friend nearby who embodies it. She's wonderful.

My friend Laura has been my friend and champion for well over twenty years now. From the moment we first met in a history class in college, I knew her to be a kindred spirit. She's a devoted mother, an amazing crafter who knitted for me until I finally learned how to knit, and she's also a great children's librarian.

Jennifer Margulis is a really inspiring writer and one of the most generous people I know. I love talking with her and reading about her take on life, writing, and all else – I relate to her a lot and only wish we had more time for good conversations! (We both have four children – and our babies are the same age. Life is hectic; good conversations will have to wait).

My friends Melinda Rothstein and Rachel Milgroom founded what I think is one of the most awesome nonprofits out there – DiaperFreeBaby 🙂  Thanks to their efforts, the idea of elimination communication (gentle infant pottying) has come such a long way – from being a fringe idea to becoming a simple option to full-time diapering.  It's so neat to see what two mothers can accomplish when they want to.

And Alexandra Grabbe is a grandmother and activist and fellow blogger – her writing is always a good reminder to me that we all care for the earth, together. Read her sweet post on growing older, too.

My heroines are women who have a desire and drive to make the world a better place in some way and touch the people around them. There are so, so many other inspiring women around me too – I feel grateful for their presence, always! 

Who are the women who have had a positive impact on your own life?


9 thoughts on “Our Heroines

  1. Alexandra

    Thanks so much for including me on your list, Christine! I’m honored.
    I love the photo of the nuthatch!!
    You know whom I admire? Women with what they call in France “famille nombreuse,” three or more kids, who decide raising children is more important than the monetary reward of a rigorous job outside the home. It’s not easy to make this choice, because a career is harder to start later in life. But I truly believe spending time with your kids when they are small is a way to make the world a better place. I raised my children myself and do not regret it. Oh, and I speak from experience regarding day-care, too. I worked in a prestigious center in Boston for a year and got a close look at the difference, at how caregivers relate to children who are not theirs, etc. I know this is not a popular stance, but I think young kids are much better off home with mom.

  2. Jennifer Margulis

    Thanks for including me in this list, Christine! I totally admire Alexandra Grabbe’s writing and dedication to the environment too. And this post is great, as it helps me think about who my heroines are. Sending cyber hugs and love.

  3. Sheryl

    You are so fortunate to be surrounded by so much inspiration, Christine. My greatest inspiration was my maternal grandmother, with whom I had an extremely close bond. I was lucky to have had her well into my adulthood. I’d say most of my learning and philosophy stemmed from what I learned from just being around her.

  4. Melinda

    Christine, I am so honored to be in such a list of honorable women! Remember you are the one who first told me about EC, so it’s quite possible never of this ever would have happened had you not told me about “this thing I am doing with my baby.” Thanks to you, my life changed, and because of that I also met Rachel and Marie!
    Thanks, Christine!

  5. Susan

    Great post, Christine! I find Alexandra and Jennifer to be inspirational, too. I met Jennifer for the first time last week, and I’m amazed by how much she juggles and how gracefully she does it, too. I mean, the woman barely skipped a beat after delivering Leone and now she’s back to blogging, writing, and appearing on TV.
    As for my own inspirations, my friend and mentor Rachel has had a huge impact on my writing career. She used to have me over to her house for Sunday evening dinners and we’d swap ideas for essays or articles. I’d always go home bursting with inspiration and new ideas. She’s also a Mom and holds down a full-time job in addition to freelancing and publishing two books, so I’m thoroughly impressed and awed by her.

  6. Kerry

    your post made me think especially of three friends, all professional musicians and each at a different stage and circumstance in her life. we do not live in the same part of the country — or even in the same country, some of the time — so I do not see each of them often, but keeping in touch with them even through geographical distance continues to be grounding and inspiring.

  7. Melanie Haiken

    I’m finding lately that I’m turning more and more to a handful of women friends who are between three and ten years older than me; I find myself much in need of their wisdom and perspective on life stage issues like menopause and empty nesting and managing stress. I wouldn’t have thought of them as “heroines” but really that’s what they are – women I admire and wish to emulate for the ways they are aging with grace and perspective.

  8. Christine - Origami Mommy

    I’m finding the same thing for myself – these are the women I’m drawn to. There is so much wisdom in these older women. I had a long fascinating conversation with a woman yesterday whose children are about ten years older – some of them have left for college and the last one is about to. It was so neat, so illuminating, to hear her talk about the stage that lies ahead, because it’s all still such a mystery to me.


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