A few days, my 6-year-old daughter told me that after struggling to keep up with some boys while playing football at school, a classmate told her that “boys are just stronger than girls”.
She looked at me with her big blue eyes and said: “It’s not fair mommy, I try my best but they are just stronger than I am”.
My heart broke into a million pieces.
I wrapped my arms around her and said this:
“I think you are so very strong. With how you never give up and how you help others. With your kindness and amazing ideas. With how you always give things a go, even when they are hard. With how positive you are and how you enjoy life. With how you always try to do the right thing, even when it’s not easy. With how you encourage others and how you admit your mistakes.
You may not run as fast as some boy in a football match, but that does not make him “stronger” than you. Because, strength, my darling, comes in different shapes and forms, and there is nothing stronger in this world than LOVE.
Don’t ever forget that”.
We bumped into some friends and off she ran as fast as she could, as fast as the boys, maybe even faster, jumping over fences and laughing out loud, and I resisted the urge to say “be careful” and “don’t run too fast”.
Instead, I stood there and mumbled: “you go girl”.
And although I know this is probably the first of many conversations, although I know there will be others who will tell her that she is ‘not enough’, ‘not as strong’, ‘just a girl’, and although I know I can’t always be there when that happens, I hope that when it does happen she will remember my words and her amazing strength and tell those who doubt her to piss off!