Once upon a time a there was a little girl who lived in a large kingdom. The kingdom was full of many exciting things and many beautiful people. And yet the little girl often felt scared, unsure, and hesitant. She was a very quiet little girl, surrounded by noise and chatter. Day after day she would watch the goings on of the kingdom with yearning.
“Will I ever feel unafraid?” she would ask her toy bears and dolls, the only creatures with whom she felt comfortable enough to converse. “Will I ever be brave?” she whispered, too afraid at times to speak up even to her friends made of cloth and stuffing.
As little girls are prone to do, this one dreamed big dreams and wished big wishes.
Yet, when dreams and wishes go unspoken they often float away like dandelion seeds.
This little girl had so many dreams, yet no voice with which to speak them. For talking did not come easily to her.
Yet, this particular little girl had a father, one of the wisest and kindest in the kingdom (who would often say that his wisdom and kindness came from his dear wife). And this father could see the dreams that lay just beyond his daughter’s voice, just out of her reach.
For he too knew the fleetingness of unspoken dreams.
And so he took a most special tool, one that he knew had the power to unlock his little girl’s hidden dreams. He held the tool most gently as he crafted a masterpiece for his young daughter.
“What do you think?” he asked his wife.
“I think you are wonderful,” she answered, praying that this would help their quiet little one.
“Where should I leave it?” the father asked.
His wife looked around their little cozy cottage. “There,” she said pointing to the pot used to make the morning coffee.
Smiles were exchanged and the masterpiece was left, right where they knew their daughter would find it the next morning.
As the morning sun chased away the lingering darkness, the little girl’s bare feet carried her to the kitchen. In search of her favorite bowl and cup, she was startled to find a sheet of paper propped up against the large coffee pot. Curiosity drove her gaze toward the white page. Her name was at the top. Bowl forgotten, she picked up the letter and began to read:
My sweet daughter,
I know that speaking is hard for you, and so I have devised a way for us to converse.
I will write to you about my day and then you can write back about yours. I will share with you my thoughts and dreams, and then you can tell me yours.
What do you think?
If you like the idea then I shall begin with a dream I have for you:
My dream for you, my little one, is that you will always feel loved, and that that love will lead you to do brave and wonderful things. I pray that you will find great courage and compassion as you grow, and that you will find your voice and the strength to use it.
Now, what is a dream you have for yourself?
Anxious to hear back from you,
Your loving father
The little girl held the letter to her heart as she wiped tears from her large brown eyes. A strange and exciting feeling began building in her stomach. It climbed higher and higher, spreading all the way to her fingers. At once, as if moved by an unseen force, she ran to her room, rustling through three drawers until she found what she was looking for.
She wrote. And she wrote. Trapped and silent no more, words poured forth from her heart. She shared her dreams. She shared her thoughts. She shared her fears.
That night, with their cozy cottage bathed in moonlight, two little bare feet scampered down the hallway, a letter clutched to a little girl’s chest. With the upmost care she deposited her treasure in the same way she had found the first, leaning against the coffee pot.
She ran back to her room lighter and more carefree than she had left. She hugged her bear as she laid in bed.
“Mr. Bear,” she whispered in her darkened room, “Maybe I can be brave after all.”
To all the daddy’s who make their little ones feel a little braver, who give their children strength to pursue their dreams, and whose love propels their children to love others…thank you and Happy Father’s Day!
And to my Daddy, my hero, my constant encourager….thank you for writing to me that first time and thus beginning our coffee pot chronicles. Thank you for giving me an outlet, a way to share my heart with you. And thank you for loving me with a fierce and protective love, a love that gave me strength, and courage, and a voice. There are not enough words in this world to express how I feel about you, so I will just say: I love you!