Nine words

My sweet Katie,

Today, you stashed your lunch box in your cubby, hung your backpack from the hook and kissed me goodbye, just as you do every morning.

Then, you turned and took your friend’s hand and said, “Come on, let’s go play.” She answered with an easy smile and you ran off together.

As I stood there, watching your two pony tails bouncing along behind you, I was struck by just how much I admire you.

During the first month and a half of kindergarten, this little girl wasn’t so nice to you.

Leaving you out on the playground, putting your sweater over your head, intentionally tripping you as you walked to your desk and breaking your pencils were some of the ways she taunted you.

And each day, with each new offense, Daddy and I talked with you about how it made you feel and how we thought you might handle it.

We tried to give you both the words to say to her and the confidence it would take to actually say them.

And we waited and hoped.

Five weeks ago, you finally spoke those words, just as we had been urging you to do:

“I will not let you treat me that way.”

You spoke them with both confidence and clarity.

With nine simple words, you accomplished so very many things.

You stood your ground, you saw your worth and you stood a little taller.

Since that day, you’ve lived those words.

And Katie? I hope that you carry them with you throughout your entire life.

Because they’ll serve you well. Even if you rarely have to say them aloud again.

I love you so very much and admire you through and through, my sweet girl.

Thank you for making me a mom. Watching you figure out who you are and how the world works has been one of the greatest joys of my life.

With a heart filled with love,




  1. Jessica (@jessbwatson)

    Oh I am so proud of her so can only imagine how much pride you must have. What a strong little girl who is going to do amazing things with that mix of kindness and confidence.

  2. Joy

    Ooof – my heart!
    Beautiful, simply beautiful.

  3. Shell

    So very sweet- what a strong little girl!

  4. anymommy

    These are the moments that we live for. Well done, Katie. Well done, momma.

  5. Sherri

    Oh, my heart…xoxo

  6. Elaine

    I need to use those words NOW in my life, sometimes. I hope she never forgets them. Beautiful.

  7. Kelly Tirman

    tears of joy! your writing does this to me all the time!

  8. Swoon!

  9. Aleta

    Wow, I'm impressed too! Do you happen to remember what sage advice you gave to her while she was dealing with the girl's horrible behavior?

  10. That is so beautiful.
    My son just completed a school wide program on anti-bullying. To hear him say "Stop! That is not being nice" and then walk away, is just awesome. Bullying is very serious. I'm glad that you taught her to stand up for herself instead of fighting back.

  11. rani

    This is just lovely! I have two little girls…well not so little anymore…10 and 7. And i remember moments of decision on their parts and having the chance to witness a few of them. Melts my heart!

  12. findingourwaynow

    What a beautiful moment. Isn't it wonderful when we witness our children becoming independant and confident!! :-)

  13. jani lebaron

    That sounds like an episode in my life in Sacramento, 1953 in my kindergarten class. The little pigtailed girl taunting me became my dearest friend, until she died of cancer in 2003. But before my brave friend died she change the lives of many students in the San Juan School District! Good for your daughter and I hope she finds a forever friend as I did!

  14. Tonya

    I love this! That is a strong little girl you have there. Very powerful words indeed.

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