Tapping into your childhood dreams is an important part of living a full and fulfilling life. Randy Pausch, the brilliant professor at Carnegie Mellon who moved the nation with his carpe diem attitude when diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, dedicated an entire section of his legendary book, The Last Lecture, to ‘Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams’.  Whether you dreamed of becoming an astronaut (as he did) or becoming a writer (as I did), our childhood dreams tell us a lot about who we are and what we’re made of.

Kristi Yamaguchi would agree.

Remember Kristi, that dazzling 1992 Olympic Gold Ice Skating Champ, who danced in the rink (then later With the Stars)? She captivated us with her levity, her charm, her so-not-Tanya-Harding heartfelt flair. She is as beautiful today, posing with her two equally lovely daughters, on the back flap of her new children’s book, Dream Big, Little Pig!

Together with Linda Oatman High, she authored a truly inspirational work with adorable illustrations by Tim Bowers. Her children’s charity Web site, Always Dream, supports young people to really go for it. Whole Hog.

Poppy, the peachy pig who dreams big, goes through a series of failures, but not without her cheerleading friend and family to keep her going. She yearns to be a star, the center point of inspiration for herself and others. When she discovers ice skating, it’s no longer important that she’s not perfect. She skates for the magic she feels.

Kristi recognizes that the support of her family, along with her own hard work, is what got her to where she is today. She also realizes that not every child has that same support network. Thus her charity, Always Dream, was born.

Whenever I read such children’s stories aloud to my kids (now ages 9 and 11), I can’t help but get choked up. Are they hearing the message? Do they feel encouraged to realize their childhood dreams that are still forming? Will they understand the importance of cherishing those desires and cultivating them in the soil of their souls?

This morning I decided to test it out. As my son and I discussed his fears of not doing well in math, I encouraged him to keep going for his dreams, like Poppy.

“Yeah,” he smirked. “But that pig doesn’t have to go to school!”

Hmmmm…I might need to write Kristi about that one. Perhaps there’s a sequel in the works. Poppy Practices Pre-calculus?

Dream big, my power of slow lovelies. Dig deep within yourselves to the place where your childhood desires reside. You will find that your true self has been cradled in your web of dreams all along.

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