To Be A Four-year-Old Girl

Last Saturday evening my husband and I attended our granddaughter’s first dance recital. Her performance wasn’t until the middle of the program, but when she took the stage I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She beamed in her sparkly blue costume. Her four-year-old face was brimming with unbridled confidence. She kicked and stepped her way through the two-minute dance with no apparent nerves or self-doubt. She owned it with every move she made.

I was struck with a sense of what it is to be a four-year-old girl. She is a bundle of energy, taking on new challenges with absolutely no fear. There are no boundaries, no limits, no negative energy. She dances as though no one is watching, even though the auditorium is packed with attentive family and friends. She is physics in action.

To be a four-year-old girl is to love yourself with abandon. You play. You sing. You read. You dance. You are a queen. You are a teacher. You are the boss. You are surrounded by color and words and texture and song.

To be a four-year-old girl is to believe anything can happen. There is magic around every corner. Fairies come to life. Cookies are a gift from heaven. You are your own hero in your own story.

To be a four-year-old girl is to know no limits. You haven’t yet been stung by hateful words. You aren’t self-conscious about your body. You believe everyone loves you, and you love most everyone. The world has yet to come barging into your dreams.

A four-year-old girl has lessons to teach us all. We need to channel that inner sprite who skipped rope and held hands with her friends. She is in all of us. We can still shimmer and twinkle with moxie.

We are all still four-year-old girls deep inside. Let’s summon them out to play. Let’s know no deadlines, no ceilings, no walls. Let’s build forts and play dress-up. Let’s make messes. Let’s show the world we are mighty in our divine beauty. 

I’ll fetch the Barbies if you bring the coloring books and crayons. And later as the sun sets, we will play a spirited game of Red Rover.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

— e.e. cummings

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