Samara celebrates being seven today. The first photo you see in this post was from her birthday party two years ago. The second photo is from her party last weekend.

I’ve known Samara since she was born. We are very close and she’s inspired me in many ways. When Samara was 16 months old, she started fighting cancer. She’s been through so much, as many of our magical younger ones have. If we want to see courage in action, hanging out with a child braving treatments associated with an illness or disease will provide perspective.

We as adults are perceiving things and seeing things through our adult awareness. We resonate with other adults and often seek out inspiration by way of the stories of other adults journeying through what we are experiencing.

The same goes for our children. Our children perceive from a child’s perspective. They naturally feel good when they are aware of other children experiencing things they are experiencing. They feel seen, understood… not alone.

That’s why my books include real children and their real experiences.

When Samara was going through cancer treatments as a toddler, she always felt happy knowing she’d get a toy at the end of a hospital visit. It was a seemingly little thing that was huge to her. She told her mom that she wanted other children in the hospital to have toys like she did to help them feel happy, too. So that’s what they do! They donate toys regularly to help other children in the hospital feel happy.

When you and your child are reading “I Am Happy Being Me” together and get to the page of Samara giving a doll to a child in the hospital, you will now know the story behind that illustration. It’s reality. It’s what children are experiencing, and it’s the truth of what our children are choosing to do for to each other.

Heart smiles!

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