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Thoughts on National Daughters Day

One thing leads to another.

How true it is. I willingly agreed to write a blog on National Daughters Day. (My mother never seems to have celebrated the day even though she had two daughters).

Being blissfully ignorant of the history of the day, I turned to every researcher’s friend — Google.

Facts and the occasional commentary

People in many countries around the globe celebrate National Daughters Day. In the United States, September 25 is the official celebration day. In 1936, J. Henry Dusenberry, from the state of Missouri, initiated the first celebration of National Sons and Daughters Day. (National Sons and Daughters Day is celebrated annually on August 11. Still plenty of time to plan your celebration).

How and when did National Sons and Daughters morph into National Daughters Day?

Archies Limited, based in New Delhi, India, began its nation’s celebration of the day in 1988. The company explains initiating the day: There has always been a certain stigma attached to being a girl child in India. (India doesn’t have a market on this view, right? However, the move was a step in the right direction).

Always helpful, Google provided several options in the “people also ask” section. (I did click on “How do I celebrate National Daughters Day?” but refrained from reading “What should I say to my daughter on National Daughters Day?”).

After an hour or so of research, I noticed how true it is that one thing leads to another.

I started this assignment with an OK feeling about the day. I am a daughter after all. And I learned who initiated the U.S. celebration — interesting enough. The role Archies Limited played in celebrating the day — inspiring.

“What do I say to my daughter on National Daughters Day?” Startling!

More Questions

Inexplicably, that question jolted me into remembering the compelling photos of mothers and children of Afghanistan. Expressions of anguish, desperation, fear and hopelessness flashed through my mind.

At that moment, National Daughters Day lost any meaning it may have had for me when I began this assignment.

The question, “what do I say to my daughter?” became more poignant. That one question led me to more questions.

What would I say?

What do I say to my daughter within a political system that denigrates the rights of women? What do I say to my daughter when our home is swept away in an instant by flash flooding, hurricanes, fires? What do I say to my daughter when her child tests positive for COVID?

What do I say to my daughter to let her know how much I love her? What do I say to my daughter to give her confidence in and appreciation for herself? What do I say to my daughter when she goes out of her way to help someone else — without being told? What do I say to my daughter when she tells me she loves me?

I am not a parent, so I don’t know what a parent would say. As a daughter, I know what I’d like to hear.

On September 25, celebrate National Daughters Day however God’s Spirit moves you. Be warned however — one thing leads to another.

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

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5 Comments

  1. Peggy Kennedy on September 24, 2021 at 7:38 am

    There were several nurturing nuns who not only acted “in loco parentis” to me, but loved me in a motherly way! Nuns never need to discount their “mothering” moments. Great article!

  2. Marsha Speth, SP on September 24, 2021 at 8:54 am

    Thank you, Denise! It made me think of a few treasured things my mother shared with me.

  3. Paula Modaff, SP on September 24, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    I am reminded that our Beloved Mother Theodore called us “daughters of the forest.” As I bask in the truth of this name, I ask myself what I am doing to assist the daughters of all of the questions you posed, Denise. Always prayer and signing petitions/letters, I ask myself if I am being invited to do something else.

  4. Michelle Barrentine on September 25, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    I just love reading your blogs, Denise. You make me smile or chuckle while in the same article make me think. Thank you.
    And to you, a daughter of St. Mother Theodore Guerin and your own mother, double Happy Daughter’s Day.

  5. Mary Tomlinson SP on September 25, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    Thanks, Denise. Always a meaningful piece from you. Always thought provoking. Always putting a clear point on things.
    I was with my sisters today at our Mother’s house. A fun time and a reminder of how happy we are to be her daughters.

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