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You may have seen the #ARWOMAN campaign floating around a couple of blogs recently.
It is a movement created by Atterley Road, whose goal it is to get women openly celebrating other woman. As a pretty headstrong feminism loving woman myself (*fistbump*) I am more than happy to take part in celebrating the women in my life who are inspiring leaders, role models and all-round wonderful human beings.
I’m lucky in that I have lots of strong woman in my life. From my best friend Kirsty who is the wiliest businesswoman I know to my Mum friends Bryony and Amy who all juggle multiple things to be wonderful mothers. My mum, who has gone from open heart surgery to marathon training to my old friend Su who is the most intelligent hardworking solicitor I have ever met and hugely kind to our planet, too. Then there are the multitudes of blog cohorts who inspire me every day – my soul sister Charlotte, viral blogger extraordinaire Alison, beautiful businesswoman Fritha and creative genius Aly. I am so grateful to have these wonderful women surrounding me – life wouldn’t be the same without them.
But when Atterley Road asked me to pick one woman in particular I knew who I wanted to write about.
My very own little Elfie.
Now, she may not be a woman (yet – though she has the attitude of one) but she is one of the most inspiring people I know.
Elfie did not have an easy time of it when she was born. She was a very poorly baby and was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition at two and a half months old. Looking back it is heartbreaking how close I came to losing her; she was so tiny and so unwell with a disease that took a long time to diagnose.
I call her my special snowflake because that’s what she is. Though it’s impossible to say exactly how many, she is one of around 180 people in the world with her condition – making her a very fascinating specimen to her Consultants and Professors when we visit Great Ormond St.
She’s always been a fighter. She fought to get well when she was so close to death and in such obvious pain as a baby. She fought to put all the weight back on that she’d lost while she was so ill. She fought with me last week because I gave her crayons instead of colouring pens ;)
Elfie is such a clever little thing and so much of her brains are her own doing. She will happily sit on a Sunday afternoon with her pens and paper, painstakingly spelling out her favourite words (and doing a marvellous job of it too!). Reading is one of her favourite things to do and she’ll spend hours reading to me, her brother, her toy animals… anyone who will listen to her. Her reading and writing skills are more than on-par with those in her year in school, despite her being a young July baby who spent months being ill and then catching up. I’m so proud of her intellect and the work she puts into it – long may that remain.
Elfie reminds me so much of me. On the outside she is headstrong, independent, feisty and knows her own mind yet she still needs the occasional hug of reassurance, a cuddle and a talk with her mum. She tells me I am her best friend and that when she grows up she wants to be my helper at work :) I always think it’s good to lead by example so I love that she takes an interest in the work I do. Maybe one day she can join the family business of the Internet?
Poor E gets put through a lot. Blood tests and daily medications, wearing a special medical ID, being that little bit different from her friends. But she takes this in her stride, not once complaining or asking ‘why?’. She knows she is special, I tell her every day, and that I am so proud of the person she is becoming. She inspires me daily with her resilience, with her spirit and with her loving heart. I’d want to be more like her but then I remember that I made her :) And for that I will forever be thankful. Elfie, you’re my very best friend too.
Which strong woman in your life inspires you?