Dear Every Child I have met and will ever have the honor of meeting,
I look at your faces, out in the crowd and my heart aches at your beauty.
And I wonder, can you feel it too?
The love I have for each of you is so deep it overwhelms me. I hope it washes over you like a soft cloud, enveloping you so that you feel all the love, warmth compassion, healing, faith, belief, desire, care, hope and possibility in this world for you.
I want you to know that there is so much love in this world. So much hope for you. So many people that will and do believe in your dreams, your imaginings, your play, your innocence and your wonder. Your absolute and incredible potential.
To the little boy whose eyes filled with tears when I told you I had no doubt that one day I indeed believed you would be the professional baseball player you hoped to be. I am not sure what made you cry, but I know and am certain that in that moment, you believed me when I said I believed in you.
To the little boy that asked what if some people thought his big, giant, magic dream life was a ‘girly dream’? I think you will have an AMAZING and WONDERFUL life that will be the envy of many. Because the fact that you were willing to ask that in front of everyone, proves you are brave enough and strong enough to do anything in this world you want to.
To the little girl that hugged me so tight and said she would miss me after she said goodbye. I said I would miss her too. She walked away but then ran back to make sure I would remember her name – so I would know who it was I would be missing tomorrow. I remember you Adelaide. You walked away with part of my heart that day. I will never forget you.
To the four year old that was a foster child in a room full of foster children and their siblings. You came up to me at the end of my presentation. I kneeled down to talk to you. You took my face in both your hands and said, “Well what did you think of us??” I told you that I think you are more amazing and brave than most of the people in this whole wide world. Then you gave me a giant kiss. You made my heart swell so much I felt it could bust from my love for you.
To the little girl who whispered in my ear that she loves art and that people call her weird because she is different. And then you whispered even more quietly, “And I AM.” I told you, that weird is okay, different is okay. And most likely, you are an artist too. And weird and different are compliments. Your smile at my response could have lit up a city. It lit up my heart.
To the little boy that said I made him want to live a magic life because I made him believe he can. Yes, a million times, yes – you can.
To all the other children who have taken pieces of my heart with them, I love you. I love you for who you are right now. I love you for who you want to become. I love you for who you will be. I believe in you and what will drive me to continue to go into schools and talk to as many children as a person can possibly fit in a lifetime, is your thirst. The thirst for someone to tell us that we can BELIEVE in our dreams. It does not matter if I am in a school filled with children of affluent parents or a school where most of the children come from homes with very little money. The feeling in the air as I talk is always the same. You all want to be believed in. And it shocks me every time how thirsty you ALL are to hear that. How are you all NOT hearing this everyday from everyone? It should be there when you wake up, when you go to sleep, when you breathe. The world needs to get better about telling you that you are an amazing, wonderous creature and we believe in all of your dreams. Ferociously and unwaveringly.
But until the whole world joins me in saturating your day with those words of love and support? I am here. To tell you what you need to hear. You matter. And I believe in you. And I always will.