We’re always told, as boys, that one of the most important facets in our life is having a father-figure to look up to, a male role model to shape ourselves after. Don’t get me wrong - I have a great relationship with my Dad and wouldn’t want it any different, however, I do feel that sole male influence is not the key to producing a man in today’s world, whatever that’s supposed to mean. To me, I think it’s worth talking about the importance of a female presence on a boy’s life, and how strong femininity is what we should expose our boys to, not distance them from. I say this because I speak from experience, I find one of the most important influence on me to be not just my father, but my father’s mother. I attribute so much of who I am because of my Grandma. Much of my early year were spent running through her garden, climbing onto stools to draw on the counter while she cooked dinner, and sitting tightly next to her watching old movies. With her wit, her intelligence, her sincerity, and her creativity, she impressed on me a desire to learn and to create and to never be afraid to be who I am. Little by little tried to emulate myself after her when I was young, and now even though she’s gone, I take time to remember and reflect on those times in her bungalow in Druid HIlls, still trying to put her life into the pace of mien.