My 4-year-old daughter Claire always announces to everyone she meets that when she grows up she will be an artist and a scientist. Since Claire was a baby she loved anything to do with colors and nature. She has loved learning about the tints and shades of colors since she could pick up her first crayon. As a little scientist she loves learning about the world around her, doing experiments, and discovering how the world works. My little girl just finds our world fascinating!
Last week on Twitter I happened to see an author tweet about his newest book release. This author writes books for children who want to learn about scientists. I loved how he made science come to life for young readers by portraying the scientist characters as children whose adventures help them make scientific discoveries.
I knew Claire who be thrilled to have one of these books, so I decided to contact the author with a simple message telling him my daughter always says, “When I grow up I’m going to be a scientist who paints art.” I asked him how I could get a hold of one of his books, planning on purchasing one for her this summer.
The author (out of respect, I will have him remain anonymous) sent a message back telling me he would love to just send Claire a book. So we exchanged information, I thanked him for his time, and told Claire there was an amazing author who wrote about science that would be sending her something in the mail soon.
Claire was ecstatic. This is a child who not long ago begged me to tell her everything I learned in a science professional development, so she could add it to her science book. Claire was so excited to hear an author would be reaching out to her who also loved science.
The next week a big white package came in the mail for Claire!
It is not often she gets mail, so the package itself was a great surprise. Her reaction was one I wish I could record. She jumped up and down, giggled, and held the precious package to her chest.
We all quickly went inside the house into our living room, we couldn’t to see what was inside, especially her 3-year-old sister Audrey.
Claire opened the package and pulled out its contents one by one. Inside was the author’s book he promised to send with an inscription to her! It read, “To Claire: Be A Thinker! One Great Adventure Can Change the World!” Along with the author’s signature. She looked through the book and discovered it was about a scientist who went on adventures outside learning about the many adaptions in nature.
Along with the book, the author sent her a full page, hand written letter! One of my favorite parts of the letter reads:
“I hope that you love this book as much as I have loved writing it. I also hope that you make some wondrous adventures of your own. Maybe you will be the next scientist to discover something great and share it with the world! Be Curious! Ask Questions! Look for answers!”
When Claire finished reading the letter, she discovered one more thing inside the package, inside was a beautiful artist satchel. Inside the satchel was an art set containing water colors, acrylics, paint brushes, sketch pencil, sketch book, and painting canvases.
I had to hide my teary eyes watching my daughter’s face look through this delivery. It was such a gift to her, but also to us as parents. How someone who did not know our family could reach out to a child just because he wanted to inspire a heart. Inspiring a child to know that their love of science is a big deal, not to be taken lightly!
Claire immediately put all the art contents back into the brief case. She strapped it around herself and said, “Mommy I think it’s time for me to paint.” We decided to go outside like the scientist in the book. We took chairs outside, put bug spray on, and Claire looked around the yard to get inspired. She found so much joy painting outside with her new watercolors and sketch book.
Claire walked around the house the rest of that day with a confidence that was just beautiful. She knew someone other than her Mommy and Daddy believed in her and an author believed in her dream of discovering the world through a love of science and art.
Since last week Claire’s world has slightly changed. She has wanted to draw daily, paint, sketch, go on more nature walks, do experiments, and she has asked more questions about the world. She seems more confident in herself and just empowered. It amazed me that today she was observing/sketching a daddy long leg into her sketch book, which days ago terrified her. Now she tells me scientists might be scared, but they work on their art anyway.
Here is that sketch below:
I can tell my daughter all the time she IS a scientist, but at times I can tell she is skeptical. But when an author reached out to her and told her she was, she knew it was true. She has stopped saying I will be a scientist, now saying I AM a scientist.
My heart wanted to say thank you to this author, so I reached out to him. Instead of offering the links for more books he just said please remind him in the winter, so he can send Claire his latest book. He explained his goal was to inspire the love of science in children, so they can make their own impact on the world.
As a parent I sometimes worry about what life will bring our children. We want them to be strong, curious, and loved as much as we love them. We want them to be seen and heard. We want no one to take away the confidence they have or their unique spirit.
This moment made me see that Claire will do great things with the gifts she has been given and it encouraged my spirit in this world. Seeing this author reach out showed me that there are some amazing people out there, who just want to inspire. She IS and WILL be one of these people.
I believe it.
She will have those who throw brokenness her way, but she will also have moments like this that affirm the gifts she was born with. People who believe in her and push her to be her best.
We are so blessed to have had this magical moment. We are blessed to have had someone open their heart to our daughter all because he just wanted to do some good in the world, with no strings attached.
It has been a gift to see my daughter proud of who she is and know that she will gift the world back with her joy of art and science.
To the author of the books, YOU know who you are. You are making scientists for our world, one reader at a time. Our family will forever be grateful for the affirmation and passion you have inspired in our little girl who will one day rise to do great things in this world.
“Play outside and make adventures of your own, catching bugs, making mud pies, picking flowers, and jumping in puddles is doing science so long as you learn something while doing it.”
-Anonymous Children’s Author