Little Girls

We passed them on our way to Trader Joe’s.  Five little girls, huddled together on the playground of the elementary school near our house.  I smiled when I saw them.  Imagined Lil Mil at six or seven, playing with her own little posse.  I slowed down to watch them.

Five little girls.  One leader.

She was the boss.  They knew it.  She knew it.  She was telling the other four what to do, and they were doing it.  Which made them…

Followers.

I don’t want Lil Mil to be a follower.

This thought shot through my mind like a bullet, followed almost immediately by another thought, equally as powerful:

I don’t want her to be bossy, either.

I looked down at my daughter, riding happily in the Baby Bjorn, the breeze ruffling her hair.  She was watching those girls, too.  Smiling at them.

You’re a little girl, I murmured to her, my lips grazing her ear.  She kicked her feet and cooed.  Don’t be like those little girls, I whispered.

It was then that I noticed another little girl, the same age, on the other side of the playground.  She was wearing a rainbow jumper and fringed brown boots.  She was racing two little boys.

And she was winning.

I squeezed Lil Mil’s feet in my hands and smiled.

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