Dear Zoey,

It’s been a good while since I wrote one of these, but today has given me the perfect opportunity.

Today’s May the 4th. Also know as Star Wars Day. #maythe4thbewithyou

You found out about this wonderfully nerdy holiday last week when your school announced that May 4th would be Star Wars Day, and that anyone who wanted could dress up to celebrate.

Us being the nerdy family we are, of course, jumped at the chance. You said, “I want to do my hair like Rey!” Because Rey has been your hero ever since you saw the latest Star Wars installment. Of course, I agreed in full support and that was that.

This morning, however, you woke up and said, “I don’t think I want to do my hair like Rey anymore.” I asked why and you broke into tears, “I don’t want –insert little girl that has given us trouble from day one name’s here– to laugh at me. And she told me yesterday that I shouldn’t do anything for Star Wars Day.” Of course, I go into mama bear mode, and immediately want to rip this little girl apart (and did I mention this is not our first issue with said girl?!) But instead, I asked you, “Why does it matter what she thinks? Do you want to do your hair like this?” And after 15 minutes of going back and forth about it. I finally said, “You know what? Her opinion does not matter.” Then, you got sad because you thought I was being mean. And here was my response…

It is not mean to call it like it is. It is not mean to be aware of people and their actions. And then I asked you, “why do you like Rey?”

And you said, “Because she’s awesome and saves BB8 and is brave.”

You’re right, she’s brave. She saves numerous beings, she kicks ass, she takes names, and yet she is still kind and good. Her circumstances are life and death, and I’m sure the idea of kids laughing at you for being authentically you feels like life and death. But being brave means battling those things that scare us and challenge us. Sure, this all started over a silly hairstyle, but standing up for what you want, and being authentically you will be a battle you face your entire life.

And that’s why I will always encourage your nerdy interests, because they’re mine too, but also because the Reys, Leias, Hermiones, and Wonder Women (to name a few) of the world should be noticed and valued. You are Rey. You are Leia. You are Hermione. You are Wonder Woman. You are Zoey.

You ultimately decided to wear your hair like Rey. And you questioned that decision the entire way to school…”What if I’m the only girl?” , “What if they laugh at me?” , “What if they don’t get it?” When we arrived to school, you opened the door, got out and were greeted by at least 3 other girls who were dressed up as Rey or Leia.

Continue fighting to be brave. You’ll be doing it your entire life.

Love you,

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