Lessons from the kids: the power of those who believe in you
I’ve started a very fun and inspiring dialogue with my daughter… it’s about a story we are dreaming up together. A story of an adventurous, creative, colorful young girl who travels around the world. It all started a few months ago, when I realized how absent this type of character was in literature and movies, and how I wanted to add a role model for young girls that reflected less things about being petty or competitive, and more things about following your passions and enjoying what the world has to offer. I began down a path of research and exploring story ideas – seeing what kinds of books for young girls are out there, reading many, considering story topics in my mind.
But I’ve also realized that Aubrey likely will play a critical part in the process. Not just in creating a sense of this girl’s character, but also in giving me feedback about what’s exciting, as well as providing creative ideas that only a child might think of. When we are on car drives, I often will run plot ideas past her and she’ll tell me what sounds most exciting to her. The imagination of that child blows me away. The other day she told me about how sometimes when she’s on the playground at school, she pretends she has on a magic necklace, and when she holds it up and wishes on it, it will change her clothes into anything she wants to wear.
What I didn’t expect is the kick in the pants that I’d get to make it happen. And not just from Aubrey, but from all the kids.
It seems that when you tell kids you are going to do something, they believe you. And not only do they believe you, they believe in you. Who would’ve known my biggest supporters would be the little people that surround me every day?
Yesterday, when we were driving home and talking about plot ideas, Aubrey said, “Mom, let’s start drawing when we get home! I’m so excited!” And sure enough, even though I was busy with dinner and kitchen tasks, Aubrey pulled out the paper, asking about book layout and orientation, how to draw things, how to write things, and more about the story. She’d drawn out two pages while I was cooking and kept asking why I wasn’t able to help draw with her. She wrote “By Mom and Aubrey” (and wrote our ages – how cute) and then said when we were getting ready for bed, “Well maybe it’s just by Aubrey. Mom, I did it all so far!”
Rylan started in on the conversation too. He said, quietly to me while I was cooking, “Mom, you’re not really going to use those pictures Aubrey drew for the real book, are you?” I carefully answered that there would be many versions of the book, and these would be used in the first version, for sure. But what I really thought is, wow, these kids really believe in me. They see past the first phases and are ready to see it published. They were talking about who would read the book, how it would be bound… they saw my dream through to reality when I still only half believed in it.
And when someone so special believes in you, it’s a powerful thing.