Festa Della Donna

March 8, 2005

Fiesole, Italia, a “suburb” of Firenze

I was in Italy for a semester abroad when I first experienced Festa Della Donna, or International Women’s Day.  Our chaperone, guide, and all-things-Europe expert, Bob, was in his 70s.  He was a hoot to be around, sharp, wise, and funny, and even pretty smooth around the ladies, although he was a life-long bachelor (or maybe that’s WHY he was a bachelor.)

international_women Bob treated all of the girls in the program that Festa Della Donna to Baci chocolates and a rose.  What a way to uplift us!  I’ve never forgotten that, and how special it made me feel, to be appreciated for being a woman and for the unique gifts that being a woman brings to the world.  While the world in general may still be far from appreciating the female gender for being who we naturally are, considering us weaker, less intelligent, or simply not valuable as human beings, it can be truly life-changing to be surrounded by individuals or a larger organization that recognizes women’s special gifts and what we have to offer.

It now strikes me as odd that I had never heard of International Women’s Day until I spent significant time abroad, as the holiday originated in the United States.  Dr. Susan Mathison has a great post on International Women’s Day, particularly from a business perspective.

I hope this day helps you to remember why women are so awesome, just as we are.  I hope you pass on that appreciation to another woman in your life.

Who knows, you might just spark an idea or a movement….just like those women who began the holiday all those years ago.

(*This post was originally featured in a modified version on Women’s Impact.)

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It’s been an idyllic summertime experience. It has brought me joy and even made me love my children more, to see them running and laughing and enjoying the simplicity of childhood. When I see the viral posts saying how we need to “give our kids a 1970′s summer” again, I just shake my head. Regardless of the decade, everything we need for a perfect summer is within us.

In a book I was recently reading, the author referenced a Facebook post that was going around a few years ago. In it, Facebook users were prompted to share a list of (somewhat random) things about themselves. Things their closest online friends might not know about them, but maybe should.

The author used it as an opportunity to pull back the facade on her life and be vulnerable with experiences from her past, feelings in her present, and fears of her future that most people didn’t realize about her. It resonated with all who read it, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

It occurred to me that I could make a list for my children. 15 Things I Want My Kids to Know About Me.

When I am laughing with my daughter on the floor as she pretends I’m her baby, watching the joy unfold on my middle son’s face as I “fly” him on my feet, or feeling the comfort of my oldest son’s arms around me at bedtime, sometimes my mind will think, “I should take a picture of this.”