Courtesy of Meaghan Elderkin(GLOUCESTER, R.I.) — Artist Meaghan Elderkin has been drawing silly napkin art for her oldest daughter, Holden, since she was in preschool. From mermaids to giraffes to unicorns, her now fourth grader loves them.
“My mother used to draw on my lunch napkins when I was a kid, and I loved them so much, they were my favorite part of the day,” Elderkin of Glocester, Rhode Island, told ABC News. “So when I had children of my own, drawing pictures and notes on their napkins was a no-brainer. I wish that I still had the ones that my mother drew for me, but they’ve gotten lost along the way.”
But when Hillary Clinton lost the election, Elderkin took a more serious tone with her napkin art.
“The Monday before the election, I had drawn a ‘celebratory’ napkin, anticipating a Hillary win,” she recalled. “It was of a dancing squirrel in a leotard (a la Beyoncé in the ‘Single Ladies’ video) that said ‘Who Run The World? Squirrels.’ Then after the election (she had the day off from school on Election Day, so no napkin) I was having a really hard time coming up with anything positive or cheerful to draw.”
The perfect idea finally dawned on her.
“I decided to draw her some pictures of strong, brave women with some of their more notable quotes,” said Elderkin. “They weren’t as cheerful or silly as my usual napkins, but it was important to me that she be reminded that she, herself, is strong and brave, and capable of weathering any storm.”
As a mother, she wants her girls to feel they have role models and hope for their own futures.
“It’s always been really important to me that my daughters be familiar with some of these amazing women,” she added. “I’ve painted a few portraits (Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Malala Yousafzai specifically) to hang in our home so that my girls can look at them every day.”
Holden, 9, told her mom the pictures and quotes made her feel “proud to be a girl,” which, Elderkin said, “is really the best reaction that any mother could hear from her daughter.”
Her youngest daughter, Elsa, is only 2, but the proud mother said she’ll “absolutely be keeping the tradition alive with her” in regards to the napkin art.
More than anything, Elderkin wants both of her daughters “to see how many women have come before us to fight so fearlessly and tirelessly for the rights to equality. And never to doubt themselves, even when it feels like the rest of the world is telling them that they’re not good enough,” she said.
“I’ll never stop fighting to make the world they live in a better place.”
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