I don’t know.
I can’t quite put my finger on it.
I’m not sure when I realized that girls were born to be both lovely and fierce.
I’m not sure when I realized this truth, but that does not change the fact that I have witnessed it for as long as I have lived.
I witnessed it in my Grandma Bengs as she woke up before everyone else to clean and make breakfast in nylons and a lovely handmade skirt. Never a complaint, only hard work done with such grace and elegance that she made it look easy.
I witnessed it in my Grandma Averson as she competed relentlessly against all of us in Yahtzee at our kitchen table from the time she woke up in the morning until Lawrence Welk came on at 6:00.
I witnessed it in my mom as she sang soft lullabies to put me to sleep after she won the doubles championship in the city tennis tournament.
I witnessed it in my friends as I watched tears stream down their face following a heart break, only to watch them wipe those tears away after a time of mending and bravely open their hearts to love, hope, and dream again.
I witness it in the young ladies I coach as they challenge their teammate to do more; push harder at practice and then celebrate that same teammate’s success during games.
I witness it in myself because I am a girl; a girl who loves to wear pretty dresses and run through the mud; a girl who wants to dance gracefully across a dance floor into the arms of a man who loves her and then score on him using my drop step in the driveway; a girl who feels deeply and fights hard; a girl who sparkles one minute and then scratches and claws the next.
I am a girl just like you.
This book is for us.