Being a former elementary counselor, the inspiration to tell a story that encourages children not to give up when they face a struggle came from the many students who sat in my office over the years.
The character of Leo, who in part delivers that message, is based on the three characters of whom I have the privilege of calling me Mom. My three boys are now 28, 24, and 20 years old.
Why the baseball/softball theme? Whether children love the game or decide it’s not for them, it’s an easy game to use in making life analogies. In life, it’s easy to understand the disappointment of hearing “three strikes you’re out” and the elation of “hitting it out of the park.” Besides, I had to do something with all of the baseball knowledge I’ve learned over the years.
There is a little of all three of my boys in Leo. Leo makes mistakes, struggles, learns to dig deep, and keep trying. Leo is fun and has a fun mom as depicted in the kitchen scene with grits flying around the room. Leo is compassionate. Leo uses his laser eyes to finally see an injustice on the playground. Then, like the lion that his name represents with a roar, he speaks up against the crowd and says, “Sam I choose you.”
There are so many children in the world who would long to hear those three words, “I choose you.” Leo learns not to see disability. Leo has grit! Grit, Not Grits. Available now!