My nose was deep in a freezer at Publix when I heard a small voice behind me say,
“Hey lady, get out da way.”
I closed the door and looked over at a tiny little girl about three, attempting to maneuver a loaded shopping cart around me. Her long blond hair was pulled back, and she was dressed in the most adorable white linen top and pink shorts. She instantly reminded of Kay Thompson’s character Eloise.
Immediately a man walked over and scolded her, “Lexi, that’s rude. You don’t talk to people like that.”
I couldn’t help myself, I laughed a little too out loud.
Several minutes later, a woman came down the aisle dragging Lexi by the hand.
“Excuse me ma’am,” she said. “Lexi has something to say to you. Lexi you apologize to this lady right now.”
But Lexi stood there as determined as when she tried getting past me. The woman again coaxed her to apologize but Lexi would not budge.
“I’m sorry, Lexi is a little bit stubborn.”
I said I understood. But what I really wanted to do was lean down to Lexi, look her in the eye and say,
“I love the fire in your soul. And don’t ever let anyone put it out. By all means, listen to the adults around you. Learn when to speak and when not to. But don’t ever let anyone tell you not to show your passion.
“Oh they’ll call you bossy, or that other dreaded “B” word. But don’t you let that get in your way.
“You see, I get it. That in your three-year-old world, you were on a mission. And nothing, not even this ole gal, was going to hold you back. And that’s a good trait to have. Cause too often in this messed up world, people don’t appreciate passion. They’ll want you to just follow the crowd. To not make any waves.
“But this world needs more girls like you. Fearless, motivated, and determined to get the job done. Girls who aren’t afraid to be strong, and yet feminine. Girls who understand that women have a kind of strength that’s nothing like a man’s.
“So keep at it Lexi. Keep running out in front of the crowd. And don’t let anyone hold you back.
“Because don’t you know, that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? So why not run in such a way as to get that prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”