Never Give Up on a Dream

This book has been a long time coming. I vowed a long time ago to share my daughter’s profound words with a wide audience and decided that as a former journalist, my best option was the written word.

But as a journalist, I have to confess that creative writing did not come naturally to me, especially given the young audience. I tried several iterations but could never get the attention, let alone the approval, of a publisher. Had it simply been my message, I am confident I would have given up. But this wasn’t my message, it was my daughters and I owed it to her to see it through. I therefore owe a huge debt of gratitude to Stephen Davis of Phrenetic Press and Chris Whitman, Authorly CEO, for believing in this heartfelt project and turning it into a reality. Obviously, I am also incredibly grateful to the illustrator, Jennifer Nicol, for her instrumental role. I can’t believe we are only a few weeks away from the launch.

“Never give up on a dream,” I told her. “Especially when your children are involved.”

A friend, who had  first heard me enthuse about a potential book, recently found out it was about to be launched. “You never gave up!” she noted, perhaps with a little surprise. “Never give up on a dream,” I told her. “Especially when your children are involved.”

Dreams do sometimes come true. I hope that will someday inspire my children, as they regularly inspire me.

Advertisements

Just Because I’m Short, It Doesn’t Mean I’m Small

Friends at school were trying to exclude my five-year-old from a game because they deemed her too small. She happened to be shorter than the other two girls involved. Feeling hurt and wanting to be included, she quickly noted: “Just because I’m short, it doesn’t mean I’m small.”

She added that she was as capable as the others. It was a big message.

Well done Isabella!

Nurturing creativity

 
In one of the most popular TED talks, Sir Ken Robinson explores how schools are affecting creativity. “You don’t grow into creativity, you grow out of it,” he notes.

An Open Forum

By exploring her own creativity, my daughter really came out of her shell. It made a tremendous difference in her self confidence. It is an aspect that should be considered and nurtured at a young age. I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to provide her that opportunity and to showcase it in this book. I will also highlight some of that work on the My Heart Never Lies Facebook page. I encourage everyone to use that forum to also showcase their children’s work. They have much to be proud of.

EVERY CHILD IS IMPORTANT

As she was getting ready for the book launch yesterday my daughter, Dominique, said: “I am feeling so important today!”
“You should feel important every day,” I responded.
The book was inspired by my daughters words, providing testament that children do have a voice and that it can influence. Every child is and should feel important and every child deserves to be heard.
What messages have your children expressed lately?

From a Perceived Weakness Rises a Superpower!

My now eight-year-old daughter is often told that she is too sensitive.  But yesterday, she said she discovered it was her superpower.

“When others are sad, I feel sad,” she explained. “And when they are happy, I feel really happy.”

Owning it

She sees it as a strength.

She would be right. Empathy is often sorely lacking these days.  My super girl. SO proud!

Who Is Teaching Whom

Adults need to be taught a lesson sometimes. There are no better candidates to humble us into this realization than our own children.

I came to this conclusion about two years ago, when I scolded my then five-year-old daughter for behaving badly towards her younger sister. I was surprised by her behaviour; she is usually such a gentle and considerate child. Her sister was equally surprised and justifiably upset.

I sent five-year-old Dominique upstairs to consider her actions. She seemed at a loss to explain them, until she ran into her father.

“I didn’t listen to my heart, Daddy. My mouth doesn’t always tell the truth,” she admitted. “But my heart never lies.”

“What happened,” he asked a visibly distraught Dominique.

She pondered the question only seconds before explaining: “I didn’t listen to my heart, Daddy.”

“My mouth doesn’t always tell the truth,” she admitted. “But my heart never lies. My heart was telling me not to do it but my hands just wouldn’t listen!”

While somewhat amused, both my husband Patrick and I were also left a little dumbstruck. It was brilliant and it just poured out of an innocent and ultimately wise-beyond-her-years little girl. So simple, yet so profound. It is a statement we could all take to heart.

A lesson learned

We, as adults, are conditioned to assume the role of teacher.  While usually appropriate, sometimes I wonder who is teaching whom. Children see the world in a way that has long escaped us. Everything is complex and new while their perspective is untainted, simple and honest. It is that perspective that we should cultivate and appreciate.

I remember that as a child, I felt I had an important voice but it seemed to be drowned out by all the chatter going on around me. I have learned my lesson. Instead of always imposing my views and slanted perspectives on my children, I try to draw out their own. I am often left impressed, and always a little amused as a result.

Children see the world in a way that has long escaped us. Everything is complex and new while their perspective is untainted, simple and honest. It is that perspective that we should cultivate and appreciate.ed

I am now exploring the idea of including some of these messages in children’s books. I owe it to my children to give voice to some of their important teachings. My first offering is expected shortly. It has been a project that has been extremely close to my heart.

hearthome