So, let me first start by telling you guys that I am well aware that you are probably sick of hearing how great my daddy is, but man! God just threw Himself overboard when He created mine. I have to say, I know how lucky I am. Both of my parents are incredibly wonderful in their own ways. And, I guess I don't give my mom enough props for her part of wonderful. But, I just cannot let today go by without sharing some more insights I have gained on behalf of my father.
Nadia Price Strid & Dennis Roaten (my dad)
Today my mom and dad and I attended a very informal, private, get-together to celebrate the 90th birthday of Nadia Price Strid. Now, I won't go into why she is amazing - go back and read my blog about her. Amazing. But, instead, I want to share how struck I am by the unusual way I was raised.
I was the oldest and only daughter of three children. The only granddaughter on my dad's side. A man's world. My mom had one chance for teaching sewing, cooking, and all those mom-things to, and she lost out on me. I got the sewing bug, but for the rest - well, I had more interest in helping daddy fix the car, cut the grass, build things in the shop, hunt, fish, whatever. My dad calls me the son he never had. (Then, he says my brothers are the sons he DID have.) And, even though I was the girl, he never treated me as such. Never told me to go inside and help mom with dinner. Never told me not to get my outfit dirty. Never expected anything less than for me to do anything I wanted in life. When my oil on my 1976 Datsun needed changing, he showed me how. When he needed more shingles on the roof, I hauled them up. When he worked on Saturdays, I was there. I was his shadow.
So, in my previous blog, I talked about how much my father looked up to Nadia (pronounced NAY-dee-uh), and how much he learned from her. Today during the party as he was introducing these absolutely BEAUTIFUL women to me, you could see and hear the respect and admiration he had for them. "This is Dr. Alys Lipscomb, one of the first women physicians in Memphis." "This is Nadia Price Strid, the first commercial photographer in Memphis." "This is Billy Price Carroll, one of Memphis' most famous artists."
Billy Price Carroll
Dr. Alys Lipscomb
Now, remember, my daddy is a guy.
Huh? You ask. Well, think about it. How many MEN do you know who have FEMALE role models? Seriously. During the cheesy "Olympic" moments on TV, how many men say their idols and mentors are women athletes? How many male TV newscasters name Barbara Walters as their role model? Usually, it's another woman giving the girl props. It is because of my daddy that I have this seed of inspiration deep down that makes me want to BE someone. That motivates me to try at least, to achieve. Because I am a woman, and I can. His love and admiration for the women in his life and in my parents' friendships have been the backdrop for my raising.
Friends like Nadia, who is an amazing photographer. Like Judy Sides who owns her own business at the salon. Like Linda Hamilton-Orr, the Avon World Sales Leader, who succeeds at everything she does. Like Nancy Willis who is an incredibly gifted teacher, friend, and mother. Like his mom, who took care of his dad and their household for more than 50 years. Like my mom's mom, who raised two girls as a widow before meeting Papa Tang. And, like MY mom, who he still thinks is the most beautiful woman on the planet (and I agree.) These are the women my dad has talked about my whole life. "So and so used to do this." "So and so once did this." "Oh, so and so can really do this." "You should do this." "You'd be great at this." And, on and on.
Men, take a lesson from my father if you are raising a girl. Teach her how to do what you're doing. Tell her who influences you and that you admire. (Not just the men.) Most importantly, LOVE their mothers. You'll have a wonderful daughter because of it. Hey, look at me! :) ( J/K - don't hate.)
Susan Roaten (my mom)