Dream big

Monika Spaulding, Digital Editor

The future is wide open. Your opportunities are endless. 

That’s what was running through my mind as I scrolled through photos from our family trip to Chicago over Christmas break. That was our gift to the girls this year: a trip. Not a bunch of stuff that will be forgotten in the weeks to come, but rather memories to last a lifetime.

But when I came across this picture of our youngest, I stopped and thought this picture says so much without saying a word.

The Skydeck in Chicago was on our list of touristy things to do while in the city. One hundred and three floors into the sky in the building that was formerly known as the Sears Tower. It takes about a minute in the elevator to reach the top floor from the ground floor.

When we got to the top, the kids (our two youngest had never been there) were amazed by the views and how high up we were. The sun had just come up, so the city was quiet and peaceful. It had snowed the night before, so a light layer of white covered the buildings. I sipped my coffee, smiled and truly took in every minute I was there. We got there early enough that not too many people were in the observation area, so it was perfect.

When it was time to go out into the clear observation box to stand over the city below, our four year old was not so sure about it. She tiptoed to the edge of the floor and looked down and then scooted back. 

“No way!” she laughed.

Eventually, when she saw her sisters being brave, she took my hand and ever so carefully made her way into the box with the rest of us for a family picture. Then we took several pictures of she and her sisters together and individually. She got so comfortable that she didn’t want to come out. That’s when she sat down and turned around, in the box by herself, and looked out at the city.

I quickly snapped the photo and loved how tiny she looked as she slowly turned her head and took it all in.

Later when I was scrolling through the photos from the trip, that one spoke volumes to me. She was on top of the world. She had conquered her fear and she was looking it straight on.

I hope and pray that my kids always feel that way. That they learn to persevere, that they don’t let their fears stop them from experiencing all the awesome things this world and this life have to offer them.

It may look like just a picture of a kid looking through a window to you. But to me, it signifies the hope of the future and the idea that there’s a great big world out there. I hope my husband and I are doing everything we can to prepare our girls to go out and conquer it all with grace and bravery.


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