One of my very best friends sent my daughter a package today. A belated birthday gift sweet in its simplicity and immense in its wisdom. The gift is light and lovingly wrapped in pink polka dot tissue paper with a bow holding the surprise inside. It comes a little bit after the birthday, but infused with kindness and thoughtfulness and joy – everything that I wish for her and whisper in her ear night after night before she goes to sleep.
I secretly opened the gift, wanting to know what it is before I let her explore it with curious hands and round wondrous eyes. I can see her, tomorrow morning, rubbing the sleep from her eyes, pulling at the bow and draping it over her little curls, wandering off with the grosgrain ribbon as her prize. How I will have to gently guide her back to the gift, suddenly a mess of crinkly paper and tape, torn asunder as understanding reveals the book inside.
The book’s story is one that would do us all well to remember every day, and one that I only hope that my daughter will hear and live by. It is a story of a girl with a passion, a girl who does not fit the mold, and who hears only detractors and experiences only negativity and failure in the beginning of her quest. A girl whose tenacity is inspirational, who comes to the attention of a wise teacher and thoughtful friends. A girl who succeeds and through this beautiful moment makes everyone realize that her success is real, true, and leads a shift in public perception and acceptance.
It often seems that simple stories are only written for children, that truths are ignored because the world is too “complicated,” and that stigma aligns with rigidity to drown out any spark or promise and integrity and support that wishes to be heard. These simple lessons are so touching because they seldom appear in adult life, and it is only their innocent rediscovery through especially kind people that brings them back to us.
I can’t wait to read it again with her tomorrow.