When a dream seed is planted and watered everyday, it has no choice but to grow and blossom. You might be wondering what in the world a ‘dream seed’ is, so I’ll tell you.
A dream seed is usually planted deep inside you when you’re a child. It could come from the smallest of compliments such as, “You’re really good at (fill in the blank)” or “I really like (fill in the blank) about you.”
In my case, my dream seed came from the pen of my fifth grade teacher. This realization didn’t hit me until I was well into adulthood. Like, WELL into it. As a matter of fact, I went years being somewhat envious of people who spoke of a special teacher who had planted their dream seed early on in their lives.
We’ve all seen talk shows where a beloved teacher is surprised by an old student who grew up into an awesome adult doing awesome things all because of this teacher. Yes, I felt happy for these people, and even shed a tear because their meeting was so touching. Plus, I absolutely love when people achieve their goals in life. But I also held a question quietly inside. It’s a question I’m not too proud to admit I had. I wanted to know where my dream-seed-planting-teacher was when I was growing up. Wasn’t I good enough? Worthy enough? Wasn’t there a teacher somewhere in my young life who cared?
Getting back to my fifth grade teacher and what she wrote with her magic pen. It was one simple sentence on the back of my report card: “Danette needs help in reading.” Those five words ignited a fire in me, and I ran to the library in order to put it out. And by ‘put it out,’ I mean I began reading as if my life depended on it. To be honest, part of that was because I wanted to prove my teacher wrong. I needed help with reading? My attitude was, “Humph, I’ll show you.” Did I mention I was in fifth grade?
I’d spend whole days in my bedroom reading, and when it was time for bed, I read beneath the covers using a dollhouse lamp until I could no longer keep my eyes open.
I loved the smell of the library, the small creaking sound the books made when you first opened them. I loved peeking underneath the plastic covers to see what the “real” cover looked like. I especially loved how the library made me feel: independent and strong.
I’d look at all those shelves filled with books, catch my breath, and wonder which ones I would choose that day. Once decided, I’d pile them up and excitedly carry them home.
My dream seed began to take root in the form of a teeny, tiny thought— maybe one day I could write a book. The thought was almost silent, but it had always stayed by my side, patiently waiting.
You can imagine how overjoyed I was to finally recognize that I, too, had a teacher who had gifted me a dream seed. It doesn’t matter why I had “watered” it, the most important thing was that I did.
Danette Vigilante grew up in the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn, New York. She now resides in Staten Island with her husband, two daughters, two puppies, and a cat with a bad attitude. Danette is the author of THE TROUBLE WITH HALF A MOON, a 2012-2013 Sunshine State Young Readers award nominee, and SAVING BABY DOE.