When Fox News anchor Ainsley Earhardt was expecting her daughter Hayden, she dreamed of all of the things she would teach her, the places they would go and experiences she would share with her. What has surprised Earhardt instead are the things that she has learned and continues to learn from Hayden. Namely, to slow down and see life as if for the first time. This wonder inspired her new book, “Through Your Eyes: My Child’s Gift To Me.”
Earhardt, a Spartanburg native, will be at Fiction Addiction in Greenville 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Oct. 22 for a book signing. Upstate Parent caught up with Ainsley to talk a little about this new book.
“When Hayden was born, I thought about all the things I wanted her to be able to do,” she said by phone. “I wanted her to speak French, and play the piano and see the world. But as she grew I started to see her interests.”
Earhardt recalled the first time Hayden experienced rain.
“I saw that it was raining out and thought, ‘Ugh, I don't have an umbrella!’” she said. “Then I looked at Hayden and she was absolutely in awe. She had never seen rain before. It is something that we hate, but for her, it was beautiful.”
Slowing down to see everyday beauty can be difficult when schedules are busy. Earhardt typically wakes up at 3 a.m to begin her day. By the time most people have had their first coffee break, Earhardt has reviewed the day's news, taken notes to prepare for the show, and perhaps even interviewed the President.
“I think it is important to remember that you are doing the best that you can,” she said. “Look at your priorities, say yes to the things that are important and no to the things that don’t matter. It is really important to give yourself a break sometimes.”
Bad news can also hinder our ability to see the positive in life, but Earhardt says that her faith sustains her even when reporting on the world’s most tragic events. The Bible verse that she continually refers to is John 16:33. In it, Jesus says: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
For Earhardt, this scripture is very comforting.
“It reminds me that this life is not all there is,” she said. “We will have tragedies, ups and downs. People will experience divorce, loss of a child, alcoholism. ... This is a world of hurt. But this isn't the end. I am going to heaven, a place where all of those things no longer exist. In the meantime, I am blessed to know that at the end of the day I have a great job and am going home to a loving family. I choose to focus on the positive.”
Her daughter also helps Earhardt remain focused on the positive.
“She takes my breath away every single day,” she said.
While Hayden is teaching Earhardt a lot, one of the things Earhardt is eager to share with Hayden is her South Carolina heritage. Earhardt was born in Spartanburg, grew up in Columbia and her grandparents still live in Greenville.
“Greenville is a very special place,” she said. “I remember going to Campbell’s Drug Store and getting milkshakes, and a sandwich with Duke’s mayonnaise.”
Though Campbell’s closed in 1997, Earhardt says the friendliness of the store is still alive and one of the things she misses most about living in the South.
“I miss going to the grocery store and always seeing someone I know,” she said. “I miss the familiarity of the cities — knowing what mechanics to use. I miss the churches — in South Carolina, everyone goes to church on Sunday. I miss sweet tea, tailgating and my grandparents.”
Earnhardt returns to South Carolina as often as she can to get together with family.
“We try and get together once per month,” she said.
Vacations often involve family reunions at South Carolina beaches.
“We usually go to Kiawah or Litchfield. South Carolina has the best beaches anywhere,” she said.
Earhardt says you can even see the Southern influence in the way she dresses Hayden.
“She wears smocked dresses and bows,” she said.
Earnhardt calls her book a gift from Hayden, but she is using the book to provide a gift to others. Earnhardt is donating a portion of the proceeds from the book to Folds of Honor, an organization that provides scholarships and assistance to spouses and children of soldiers who have died while serving our country.
You can go
Fox News anchor Ainsley Earhardt will sign copies of her book “Through Your Eyes: My Child’s Gift To Me” 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22 at Fiction Addiction in Greenville. For details about the event, visit fiction-addiction.com.