I feel like finding validation is nearly impossible in my life. I don't do enough stuff that can be measured for there to be a quantifiable, "you done good, kid."
Today at the Storytown show at the hospital there was a young girl and her mom who were pretty much our only audience members (most of the kids watch on TVs in their rooms). At one point we pretended that the girl and her mom were Woody and Buzz from Toy Story and then, because sometimes we're jerks who like to make our own fun, we asked the mom to say, "To infinity and beyond," for us (some movie lines never get old).
The mother who was super embarrassed put her head in her hands and hid from us (as much as you can hide without going anywhere). One of the cast members assumed that she was crying and apologized for making her sad.
"She's not crying. She's laughing. Y'all are funny." pipped up the little girl.
The show went on and at the end we all laughed about how sweet the little girl had been. And while it was cute, it was also incredibly rewarding. Kids are honest, and real and they don't have time to say nice things to you just because you're doubting yourself and your choices.
That little moment of pure childish honesty was enough for me to keep doing this to infinity and beyond.