You Can Do Anything

Anna as Supergirl

Our Supergirl

A message for my daughter on International Women’s Day.  I said it to you for the first time the day you were born:

“Anna, I want you to know that there is nothing you can’t do; nothing you can’t be if you want to, and don’t listen to anyone who tells you different.”

And I try to say it as often as I can in both my words and my actions. There are no limits to what you can accomplish.

You can be both a princess and a superhero:

Because as much as she loves princesses, she loves other things too. Like superheroes. We thought she would be a princess for last Halloween, but instead she chose Supergirl. She still has her Supergirl costume in with her dress-up clothes, including several princess dresses, but also a vet coat and a firefighter coat—she loves to wear all of them.

You can excel at math despite what our culture says:

“How many sugar cubes did Belle take?” Julia asked.

“Eight.” Anna replied.

“And how many did she give the pony?”

She counted: “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Belle must have put one of the sugar cubes in her lemonade because she had eight and the pony ate seven.”

“Anna,” I said. “You just subtracted.”

You can go on adventures in your imagination:

 Could it be “monsters or trolls . . . gremlins or ogres . . . bandits or pirates?”

“Pirates! Rough, tough, little girl pirates.”

You can exceed expectations:

We pledged a nickel a minute for Anna, which worked out to a dollar a day based on the 340 minute minimum. We knew she’d read more than that, but we had no idea how much more. Well, at the end of the Read-a-thon, she read a total of 810 minutes.

You can do anything:

Anna  . . . loves the water so much we’ve been calling her “our little mermaid.” So it’s no surprise that she’s doing great . . . At the end of class, her teacher gave us her evaluation. She received passing grades on all her advancement goals: Independent front and back floats for five seconds, independent front and back glides from the wall for five seconds, and an independent front crawl with five proper strokes. Underneath this checklist, in the comments section, Anna’s teacher wrote “Princesses can do anything.”

In your own words, Anna, the truth that your mom and I have instilled in words and actions ever since you were born: “girls can do anything.”

You, Anna, can do anything.

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