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Mom Talk: Watching My Daughter Watch Kamala Harris

Written by Dr. Zabina Bhasin MD

Photography by Photo Courtesy of Zabina Bhasin

Today’s Mom Talk essay is short, sweet, and surely relatable to so many parents who witnessed their children witnessing herstory earlier this week, as Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first Black, south Asian, and woman U.S. Vice President. Below, SoCal-based mother of two, Dr. Zabina Bhasin MD, the founder of diversity-centered education company In KidZ xx With Love, shares her personal thoughts on the very special day. (Also be on the lookout later this year, as Zabina publishes her first children’s book about growing up Sikh in America, incorporating her own mother’s “educate-first” approach to confronting racism that has profoundly shaped Zabina’s world view).  

Since I was a young girl, I have dreamed of a female president leading our country. This week, Kamala Harris, a woman who shares my skin color and my cultural heritage, became our Vice President, surpassing my wildest imaginings. I watched a daughter of immigrants, like my parents, step into the White House and into history as the United States Madame Vice President second in command to President Joseph Biden.

Kamala’s mother raised her to be proud and strong, reminding her to create a pathway for those who came after her, “You may be the first, but make sure you are not the last!” What better trail to blaze than one that leads women to the most powerful office in the country. Her rise gives women—everywhere—the courage to follow their dreams and empower others along the way.

Knowing that my 5-year old daughter Imara, and all the young girls in her generation, will be able to see themselves represented in such a prominent political position gives me hope of what the future generations will be able to achieve. It foreshadows a January day in our future when a female will ascend to the United States Presidency and close the power gap between the genders.

Imara will not have to dream of a woman running our country because she sees one doing it, who shares her skin color. Like Kamala’s mom, I’m ensuring Imara realizes her full potential and creates opportunities for others. We start our mornings with affirmations like “I am confident, I am strong, I help others, I am fierce, I am powerful, and I am empathetic.” While watching the inauguration, she said two things that affirmed her self-worth and the power of representation.

“Mom, I am going to be in those chairs one day with you,” she said, unprompted, watching Mr. President and Madame Vice President walk into the capital and then into the inauguration area. Seeing a woman like her in that chair affirmed her worth more than any affirmation ever could, sparked her dreams, and ignited her belief that she could achieve it.

After the inauguration, we resumed our morning routine. I kept hearing Imara mumble something under her breath. I finally asked her what she was saying, and with a loud, exuberant voice, she said, “The world is waiting for me!”

I replied with the biggest smile. “Yes, baby girl, it is! And you don’t forget it!”

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