When USC graduate and “FOX & Friends” TV co-host Ainsley Earhardt found out last year she was expecting her first child, she decided to make a written declaration of love to her child.
Inspired by her own childhood and inspirational notes her father would write to her before school each morning, Earhardt wrote “Take Heart, My Child: A Mother’s Dream” – a lyrical lullaby in which she shares her own hopes and dreams and lets her child know that whatever challenges life brings, “Take heart my child I will – or my love will – always be there for you.”
“I want my daughter, and all children who read this book, to know she can ‘take heart’ and know she will always be loved unconditionally,” Earhardt said. “After the birth of my daughter, I wanted to give her something like what my father had given to my siblings and me. This book is my love letter to her, to let her know that she will always be empowered, protected and cherished.”
A native of the Upstate, Earhardt moved to Columbia as an elementary student. She graduated from Spring Valley High School before going on to the University of South Carolina, where she received a degree in journalism.
After working with Columbia TV station WLTX, she moved on to FOX News in New York, where she has contributed on a number of the network’s programs.
“I will be forever grateful to the viewers, teachers, mentors, friends and family in South Carolina,” Earhardt said in a recent interview with The State. “It was the perfect place for me to grow up and I bring my daughter back to the great state as often as I can. New York might be my residence, but South Carolina will always be my heart.”
Here, Earhardt talks about growing up in South Carolina, her new book, and the joys of her life today – chiefly, her daughter Hayden, who celebrated her first birthday Nov. 6.
I understand a major inspiration for this book was notes your father would write to you every morning when you were growing up. Tell me about those.
Earhardt: My mother is an incredible lady who devoted her life to being a wife, mom and school teacher, which meant she left for work very early to be in the classroom. Therefore, my father was in charge of feeding three children – my sister, brother and me – and making sure we made it to school on time. Often, he drove the carpool and always prepared creative, fun breakfasts. Each morning, we walked into the kitchen to find three bowls and cereal boxes displayed neatly, a gallon of milk and notes next to the cereal bowls. The notes were famous sayings, scriptures or poems encouraging us to have positive attitudes, do the right thing, never quit and be grateful for our tremendous blessings. He had a unique way of teaching us the importance of perspective, making the best of every situation and being thankful. Dad was a former college basketball coach. Coaching his family came naturally, and I wanted to share those messages with the world.
You wrote “Take Heart, My Child” while pregnant with your daughter. How has becoming a mother changed your perspective?
Earhardt: I wanted a baby so badly. In the weeks prior to giving birth, a final copy of “Take Heart, My Child” was sent to me by my publisher, Simon & Schuster/Aladdin. I opened up the first copy and intentionally read it in my child’s nursery. I sat in her rocking chair, knowing I would meet my child soon, and flipped through each page. As I read the words out loud I wept. I cried tears of happiness – so grateful for the life God had given me, the parents who raised me and the team who helped me with “Take Heart, My Child.” It was so surreal and my life’s blessings scrolled through my mind. I had my dream job, a life in Manhattan, a great family, a healthy baby on the way and a children’s book being published. I was overcome with happiness and gratitude.
BOOK SIGNING WITH AINSLEY EARHARDT
SC native and FOX & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt will come home to Columbia for a signing of her new children’s book, “Take Heart My Child.”