When we finally made it out of the house and went to the park ( your request), it was filled to the brim with an all boys school. They were swarming. I thought better and reached for your hand but it was too late. You climbed up the ladder and placed yourself in the middle of hundreds of big boys. You approached the slide but got pushed back time and time again. You retreated, but did not get down, did not look for me, and did not loose your temper. Instead you observed, and when it was safe you made your way down the slide.
This happened two more times until one of the little boys stuck his finger in your face and it hurt your feelings so badly that you laid down on the bench- at the top of the slide. My heart broke. He did it again. Again you laid down. He did it again and walked away. You got up and made your way down the slide. When you got the the bottom I told you that I was proud of you and that you were brave. You shrugged.
A few moments later I found you sitting still underneath a big tree. You were sad, but you’re too little to have the words to describe hurt feelings.
Today we went to the park again and you played with a group of 4th graders.
Then you found two 3.5 year olds and played with them for 30 minutes or more. You flirted with the little boy and adored the little girl. You were so happy. Then the little girl stole her purse back from you and said “You can’t play with me any more. I don’t want to play with you.” You stood there, shocked. And while I can say sometimes I can see an older child’s annoyance coming, and shield you, this surprised me as much as it surprised you. My heart broke. I wanted to kill that little girl- but I remembered that someday that will be you and your words to another younger child. I asked you to come to me, you said no. You starred at the girl and you didn’t follow her. You walked over to me for a hug. It hurt me to see your feelings hurt.
I love that you pursue the impossible. You have never been invited into a fold, but you always wiggle your way in. You lead whenever possible and act older then you are. This morning you asked to watch the news with your breakfast. I wish I could make every kid see just how spectacular you are, but I’m just your Mama. My job is to build you up big enough that no other child or person steals your sparkle; not yesterday, or today, not tomorrow or ever.
I can see now that all the stuff I thought was hard, is nothing compared to what’s coming. Shielding you, surrounding you, letting you go- how will we make it through the pre-teen years without me standing in your way? You are many many things to many many people, but for me you are mine. An extension of myself…only better. Me 2.0.
I know one thing, they can try Girl but they don’t know what I’m instilling into you. They don’t know the power of the million or more strong women behind us. They don’t know the history of our mouth and the power of our actions. You aren’t just my child you are the child of every woman (on two sides) before you. So when they push you back from the slide or steal the purse from your hands- don’t you ever back down and don’t you ever give up. We wouldn’t, and we won’t let you. And if that’s not enough, call your Nana, she’ll whip their ass and take you out for McDonald’s.