Every kid needs heroes. If you've ever seen your child write a letter to someone they admire, you know how much it means for them to identify with inspiring adults. A hearing-impaired girl's letter to her hero will melt your heart. When 9-year-old Riley Kovalcik found out about a trailblazer who is also hearing-impaired, she felt compelled to reach out to him. It almost doesn't matter who this trailblazer is or what he does. (It's Seattle Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman, first legally deaf offensive player in the NFL.) What matters most is that Riley found someone she can look up to, someone who truly inspires her. I have to think when Coleman sees Riley's letter, he'll be inspired as well.
Riley learned about the football player from a Duracell ad she watched with her sister, Erin, who is also hearing impaired. Jake Kovalcik, her father, says his daughters were beyond excited when they saw Coleman's story -- and even more so when the Seahawks won. Riley wanted to write her new hero a letter. When Jack saw what she wrote, he knew Coleman had to see that letter. He tweeted a photo of it -- because part of the beauty of this letter is Riely's careful printing: "@Seahawks @DC2forlife you've inspired my little girls in a way I never could. THANK YOU! #Seahawks #SuperBowlXLVII." Here's Riley's letter.
This is such a gorgeous example of a child feeling empathy with another person -- "I know just how you feel." I love Riley's list of things they have in common: Wearing hearing aids and loving sports. You can feel how excited she is to hear about someone she feels a certain kinship with and who has accomplished so much. She may not grow up to be a professional football player herself (but hey, don't count her out, either), but that's not even the point. What's most important is, as she puts it, to "just try your best" and have "faif."
Here's the ad that inspired Riley's letter.
Has your child ever written their hero a letter? What did they say?
Image via Jakelsmobile/Twitter