Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Phenomenal Woman

Five more hours and I am on vacation...sort of.

I took my kiddos (school kiddos, not my own personal ones) on a second to last day Field Trip to beautiful Echo Lake with a side trip to one of my favorite places on the planet, The White Mountain Cupcakery.  As I wrangled the children into a semi-organized group, a parent quietly remarked "Wow, your job is hard."

"Not really," I replied.

But when I add it all together, she's right.  Being a teacher is hard.  Being a mom is hard.  Doing both at the same time is really hard.  Wonderful, amazing, inspiring.  But no doubt about it...hard!

So here is a poem for me today.  And for all of you who Mom out there.  And work.  And do both.  Although we may not feel it very often, what we do is phenomenal.  We are phenomenal.  And we need to remind ourselves of that every once in a while.

I am half on vacation after five more hours of work.  I won't be all the way on vacation for at least seventeen more years, but I wouldn't change it for the world!

by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 

from And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou

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