Fierce In Pink: a love letter

I’m writing love letters in October. Every Monday, I post one here…


Dear Impossibly Beautiful Golden Haired Girl in the Pink Leggings and Hello Kitty Top,

Your laughter, adorable and fierce, catches me off guard. I turn to find the source and there you are. Know this: there are few things more dazzling than your wild run across this park’s green expanse, hair catching sunlight, thin legs pumping, arms flung out as you dive onto the Nerf football everyone wants. I can’t help but laugh as your little body covers the ball and your inarticulate squeal declares you the winner, the ruler, the 4-year-old master of your daycare world.

I want to tell you to not to surrender your victory to that dark-haired boy, the one who couldn’t catch you in the race to the prize, but threw himself on you when he finally did arrive, wrestled the ball away, stood and waved it in the air as though being second and a bully were just as magnificent as being brave and wild and first.

I watch you get up, staring after him, wiping your palms on your pink leggings. He runs the ball over to the 20-something in charge, who accepts it, half paying attention as he talks to another 20-something in charge. The two of them, a boy and a girl, look like kids to me, but I know it’s all perspective. They’re a lot older than you. All the preschoolers gather into a loose huddle, waiting, watching as the 20-something tosses the ball up and down. They dance in nervous anticipation until finally he lobs the football high above their heads.

In unison, everyone turns, runs, shouts. I want to tell you don’t worry about it. It’s a stupid game. The dark-haired boy’s a stupid boy. You don’t have to prove yourself to him or anyone else. I want to tell you how perfect and amazing you are, tell you a hundred truths chosen specifically for you, to make you believe in yourself, to make you unafraid, unintimidated by the bullies of this world.

But when my eyes break away from the football hurling through the air, they find you, breaking away from the pack again, wild, joyous… absolutely certain. The ball lands, and you land on top of it, and in the instant before the crowd of kids descends upon you, I know you don’t need my speech at all.

It was I who needed you today.



I’m so honored to have been invited by Julia Fehrenbacher to write about fearless love on her blog, Painted Path. I hope you’ll go read me there and then check out all that Julia has to offer. Her blog is like a little sanctuary, beautifully written and disarmingly honest. I’ve never actually met Julia in person, but I suspect that description would apply to her too.

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36 Responses to Fierce In Pink: a love letter

  1. Michael October 10, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    i love the way you see the world. “It was I who needed you today,” indeed.

    • j October 10, 2011 at 8:18 am #

      Thank you, Michael.

  2. prudencemacleod October 10, 2011 at 3:33 am #

    Judy, that was beautifully written, and it made a perfect start to my day. Thanks so much for sharing. Pru

    • j October 10, 2011 at 8:18 am #

      Thank you so much for reading. Your comment is a perfect start to my day.

  3. Sandy October 10, 2011 at 4:45 am #

    I think we all needed a little dose of that adorable little girl who doesn’t let the world get her down. This isn’t just a beautiful letter, but an awesome reminder. Thank you for writing it :)

    • j October 10, 2011 at 8:19 am #

      I felt that way watching it for sure, grateful for the reminder. Thank you, Sandy.

  4. Amy October 10, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    What Michael ^^^ said. Loved this, J.

    • j October 10, 2011 at 11:14 am #

      Thanks, Amy. It was a sweet moment.

  5. casoly October 10, 2011 at 6:52 am #

    Perfect. Thank you J! xox

    • j October 10, 2011 at 11:15 am #

      Thanks, C!

  6. Tricia October 10, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    The girl didn’t need a speech, but someone needs to whip that boy into shape soon before he grows up to be a politician.

    Still, I love the way we learn from the pure hearts of youngsters.

    • j October 10, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      Ha! Yes, perhaps politics (or banking) is that boy’s future. :)

  7. Boonies Chick October 10, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    Gorgeous. As adorably and intensely written as the little girl lost in play.

    I was struck by the poignant way you contrasted the older “kids” with the small ones – how much innocence and spontaneity we lose in a few short years. The “20-somethings in charge” have a totally different agenda for enjoyment than the preschoolers.

    Off to read you on the Painted Path.

    • j October 10, 2011 at 11:18 am #

      It struck me too – how young they ALL seemed, but how, to a preschooler, those 20-somethings are as old as I am. (Well… maybe not quite that old.)

      Thank you for visiting Painted Path, Milli. Your comment there was wonderful. xo

  8. Estrella Azul October 10, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Interesting how the things we write for others are often what we’d tell ourselves but don’t stop to think about it until it’s all written out.
    Love your letter, j, and I can’t wait for the next one.

    • j October 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

      Thank you, Estrella. Me either!

  9. lunaJune October 10, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    J YOU ROCK… what an awesome thing to witness and share with us..
    I could see clearly her little spirit.. wild and free… running with the wind
    wild how much a 4 year old can teach if we take the time to look

    have a wild and wonderful day

    • j October 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

      Yes, kids are often the best teachers. Today was pretty wonderful; thank you for wishing it for me. xo

  10. Joanne Marie Firth October 10, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Love this so much, the visual is stunning! I sure wish I had a j like you on the sidelines, when I that was little 4 year old me out there. I could have used your 100 pieces of wisdom. Dang bullies. Perfect words. xoxo

    • j October 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

      Well, this j was a long time coming. I wish I’d had her too. :)

  11. Gail October 10, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    I can’t even articulate what I’m feeling as I read this and my eyes fill up with unshed tears. I’m thinking about my daughter and all of things I wish I could say sometimes but don’t, because she’s too young and won’t understand. Thanks for sharing this. It made my day :)

    • j October 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

      Ah, thank you. This comment means a lot to me because, although I was once a four-year-old girl, I’ve never had one. I’ve often wondered what I’d make sure to tell a girl.

  12. terrepruitt October 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Oh heck yeah. I was holding my breath reading as fast as I pictured the little girl running. I was so curious, I was so excited and then whoosh, I pushed the air out with much bouncing and clapping (with glee I must say, WITH GLEE!). I love this. This is so awesome. What a great moment. What a great thing that you wanted, you ached to tell her so many “secrets”, so many important things. And it was her that revealed secrets and important things to you. And you are fabulous enough to recognize it.

    CLAPPING WITH GLEE I SAY! I don’t think I would have been so smart. Thanks!

    • j October 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

      Glee! I can’t ask for more than that! Thank you so much, Terre.

  13. Marcie October 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    This just made me smile. PERFECT!!!

    • j October 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

      Thanks, Marcie. xo

  14. Julia Fehrenbacher October 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Dear Judy,

    I just read this for the second time today and, once again, my eyes filled up and my breath caught, when I got to this part:

    “But when my eyes break away from the football hurling through the air, they find you, breaking away from the pack again, wild, joyous… absolutely certain. The ball lands, and you land on top of it, and in the instant before the crowd of kids descends upon you, I know you don’t need my speech at all.

    It was I who needed you today.”

    This is just so beautiful. I’m here jumping up and down, fiercely rooting for and cheering on that little girl in pink. And US. May we be as brave and certain.

    Thank you for this little drop of heaven today.

    And again, thank you so much for gracing Painted Path with your beautiful presence.

    • j October 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

      That’s exactly how I felt when it dawned on me that she didn’t need me to tell her how amazing she was… would that we could all tap back into that 4-year-old certainty and fearlessness.

      Thank you for inviting me. I can’t possibly express how excited I am to be there. I love your little corner of the interwebs.

  15. Pam October 10, 2011 at 8:44 pm #


    It’s good to remember that sometimes the most joy comes from throwing caution to the wind. Rock on, fierce girls (and boys) everywhere!

    • j October 12, 2011 at 10:15 am #

      Yes. In fact, I’ve found that throwing caution to the wind is one of the most reliable strategies of all for experiencing joy. But I loved the reminder.

      Thank you, Pam.

  16. jb October 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    I needed both of you today. Thank you. <3

    • j October 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm #


  17. Tall Pajama Man October 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    gripped twice. First for the girl. then because of her (and of course, how you expressed her in both instances).

    Thank you for your letter of love to her, to you, and to us.

    • j October 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

      You’re welcome! She was quite the little inspiration.

  18. NM (@echo90803) October 12, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    J…all day I’ve been trying to remember myself, fierce like this little girl. It occurred to me I might not have been fierce then….but I can be that now, in the best sense of the word! I’m writing cards and letters each day, and by the end of the month I’m going to be grateful for the pain of the arthritis in my writing hand, because I love these folks enough to actually hand write my love letters.


  19. j October 12, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    I actually mailed my first letter today. The rest have been the kind (like this one) that don’t get mailed… they’re as much to me as to the person (or thing) that inspired them. I’ll be sending more hand-written love letters out though. It felt amazing to crystallize my emotions and direct them toward someone beautiful and necessary to me.

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