When the boys pull your hair and push you to the ground during recess I promise not to tell you that it’s because they like you. when the teachers call home to tell me that you pushed them to the ground after you I’ll take you out of school early and buy you your favorite ice cream. when you get older and the boys try to touch you when you don’t want to be touched I’ll look at you like the sun when you come home with anger in your fists. they all tell you not to fight fire with fire but that is only because they are afraid of your flames. when the boys yell after you like hyenas you yell back, baby. I will not teach you to be afraid of your anger so that you look for it in others. I will not make you be the better person because you already are. you wanna fight ‘em? fight ‘em. don’t you dare apologize for the fierce love you have for yourself and the lengths you go to preserve it. when the boys try to tell you to soften up I hope you make them bleed with your edges. I hope you remember that you are not theirs that their disappointment in you is not yours. when the boys come to your door with pretty words and angry eyes I hope you show them the anger in yours. I hope you show them just how strong your mommy thinks you are. I hope you show them the animal they can’t always see in their own reflection. when the boys come with the intention of hurting you my advice will always stay the same, my darling: give ‘em hell.