I’m sorry, Bossy Girl


Dear Bossy Girl,

I’m sorry that I failed to use my powers of compassion when I thought you bossy for commandeering my child’s toys. I forgot you are just a kid. I forgot that it’s never about what it’s about.

I saw you again at the park, and when you came over to play with Grace in the sand, I said something about trying to all play together.

And then. Your mom.

She yelled at you about not playing over with us. She berated you for wanting to get dirty, and then directed exactly what you could and couldn’t do. Something about a slide and a swing.

You went to her, without a word, a scared puppy.

And I felt so bad. My heart broke for you.

Of course you grab what you can in your small world. Of course your experience is something I know nothing about. Of course you are learning through a lens, that this is how things work.

My heart breaks in a very particular kind of way for you and other kids with screaming moms. With the full realization that maybe it’s a one-time thing. I have no idea what went down before, or what will happen after.

Still, Bossy Girl, I’m sorry not that I judged you harshly, but that I judged you at all.

I hope Bossy Mom is sweet with you the other 23 hours, 55 minutes of every day.

Love, your friend,


Vanessa McGradyI’m sorry, Bossy Girl

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