Posted on Leave a comment

Who is Olaolu Ogunyemi?: Author Interview with Kidlio Mag + An encouraging Message—Don’t lose that smile!

Happy Sunday! I have been blogging for a little over a year now (time flies when you’re having fun), so I realize I have made several new connections who may not know who I am. Well, I was honored to share a little bit about who I am with Kidlio Mag (embedded at the end of this post) and of course you can always find out a little more at https://parent-child-connect.com/about. There is one more thing that I like to do at my initial introductions; I like to tell people something about me that they may not have otherwise known. So today’s fact about me is, I love to smile!

A childhood photo of (front to back) my oldest nephew, my youngest brother, and me. (Jan 25, 1998)

My smile means a lot to me.

For me, my smile is not simply an indication of my current emotion because as those emotions flee, so would my smile. Instead, my smile is an expression of who I am–a guy who is a joy to be around and genuinely excited to be alive. It is an open invitation to anyone I meet to engage in conversation with me because I am truly interested in what you have to offer the world. It is a gentle reminder that no matter what is happening, I can communicate peace and calmness to those around me with a simple gesture. It is an encouragement to others who may feel unwelcomed, unseen, unheard, or unwanted; I see you and appreciate your existence. It is a show of pure, unadulterated gratitude for your service whether you are a janitor cleaning the airport restroom, a police officer checking IDs at a military gate, a cashier servicing hundreds of customers a day at a busy grocery store, or anything in between.

There were times when I hid my smile.

There were times that I forgot how important my smile was. I specifically remember a time during my preteen and early teenage years. I lacked so much confidence in myself and my smile because of all the negative things some of my peers (and even adults) were saying about my weight (I gained a lot of weight), my name, the size of my head, the size of the gap in my teeth, and more. I absorbed and internalized so many of these things that I found myself wanting to hide in the back corner of any room I entered. When I did smile or laugh, I quickly covered my mouth to hide my gap in hopes that no one would notice. Someone did notice.

Someone encouraged me.

One Sunday morning, my Sunday School teacher at church noticed me doing this and she told me, “Don’t hide your smile. You have a beautiful smile!” She probably does not remember saying that to me and likely had no idea how much those words meant to me, but I held those words tightly! When people would say harmful things, I would go look in the mirror and say, “you have a beautiful smile” until I internalized it. Over time, my confidence returned and my smile was restored. Now when you meet me, you meet a giant, confident smile! So much so that many strangers have looked at me, turned their head slightly, and said, “Don’t lose that smile.”

Now I’m encouraging you!

So I want to encourage you today, don’t lose that smile! People will say harmful things, but they are wrong. Don’t listen to them! I am here to tell you that your smile is beautiful because the person giving it has something beautiful inside of them!

Have a great week!

Enjoy this song by Kirk Franklin!
Posted on Leave a comment

Read along with me!: “Billy Dipper’s Time to Shine” by Olaolu Ogunyemi

Happy Friday! I am excited to share my latest project: a read along of my book Billy Dipper’s Time to Shine!

Do you know a child? Maybe you know a teacher, librarian, parent, or mentor? Send them this link (https://youtu.be/F25Npwt8zdA), and let’s read together!

Billy Dipper’s Time to Shine by Olaolu Ogunyemi — Read Aloud Books for Children

Thanks for your support! Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share!!