To the Girl in the Batman Cape,
You walked by me today on the Bay Run, with your cape billowing out behind you in the breeze and your mother by your side. She wore a slightly sheepish smile, but you seemed so delighted and delightful, and I’m glad you wore the cape. I’m glad she let you, too. You walked by while I was climbing my way along a wall under a bridge. I’m always sort of embarrassed when someone catches me in those moments. I’m not exactly graceful about my efforts, but there’s a Spartan Race coming up and I’ll take whatever training I can get with traverse walls – even if it involves scaling walls in public.
“What’s she doing climbing a wall?!” you exclaimed, stumbling to a stop to watch me for a few moments.
We had a brief exchange. I smiled and shrugged, my tenuous grip on the wall faltering. “Because it’s fun, and because I can.” I told you.
You grinned at me and kept walking along, swooping and swooshing with your cape as your mother’s pace picked up to keep up with you, and the whole way home I couldn’t stop thinking about that grin and the cape.
You need to know that it’s okay to explore and it’s okay to play. The beauty of life is so often discovered when you step off the path and find what’s beside it. Never hesitate to explore. Never be ashamed of playing. Never give up that curious spirit you’ve got.
You need to know that your smile and your voice are welcome in this world. Today I had a conversation about being heard, and why it is that women so often don’t feel heard or able to speak, and your small voice reminded me how important each and every voice is. It reminded me that my own voice matters, too. Sometimes you’ll feel sheepish and awkward, and you’ll be uncertain, but if you have words to say, say them. If you want to smile, smile bright and wide, because it lights up a day when you smile.
Girl in the Batman Cape, never let go of your desire to know and to be and to speak and to smile. They are precious gifts. Both to you, and to the rest of the world.
Girl Climbing the Wall