Monthly Archives: September 2014

Not a Dreamer After All

I used to fancy myself a dreamer. A possibility thinker. I remember the ambitions I had as a teen. I was going to move away, to bigger and better things. Blaze my own trail and leave a lasting mark on the world. Maybe international business? Live abroad? The skies were wide open and the possibilities were endless.
Somewhere along the way, my world shrunk. The ideal became a little less lofty and I started to think more about what is attainable. I began thinking in terms of what was reasonable and realistic. Sort of the “Let’s face it you’re never going to…” mentality.
Somewhere along the way between the world-is-your-oyster high school years and the middle-aged, near-empty-nester year, I became a realist.
Maybe it was becoming a parent, or buying a house or some other step of adulthood that changed me. But it’s ok. For me. It’s ok to think practically, to be realistic about the future.
However, I think it does my kids a disservice when I can’t embrace their dreams. When I burst their bubbles with my “realistic” views on life. It limits them. It squelches their creativity and instills doubt.
In my effort to paint an honest picture of life, to give them a realistic perspective on what the grown up world is like, I take away the option to dream. The freedom to dream the big, hairy, audacious dreams. The ones that scare the bejeebers out of you and excite you at the same time.
I have only recently come to realize this about myself. I have a dear friend who lets her kids dream. In fact she supports their dreams. And prays for their dreams. Even the big, unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky dreams! I admire that. And yet I don’t do it.
It’s hard to shut off the logical, ordered, down-to-earth, focus-on-what-is-realistic part of my brain and engage the dreamer again.
We all need to dream! Especially young people. There is a great, big, world out there and the ability to envision yourself changing it is priceless. Without the belief that you can make your dreams come true, what do you have? What pushes you, drives you and makes you revise that idea/paper/design one more time? What makes you reach a tiny bit farther, try that move one more time, reach out to one more person?
We must be able to dream.
We must be able to create and nurture our own dreams without doubt standing behind us whispering in our ear.
I don’t want to be the doubt for my kids. I want to be the voice in their head that says, “If this is what I really want, I’m going to make it happen!”
So go, my sons, dream really big dreams! Imagine, what if…! Put your heart into your dreams, work your 10,000 hours! Become the expert you want to be!
I believe in you!

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For What it’s Worth

A coworker had to leave work early today because her 4 year old was sick. Not sick-sick, but the “school” insisted she be picked up since she had been to the bathroom 4 times with diarrhea. Understandable. The mom was frustrated. Leaving work meant no pay. That means less rent money. She was a bit exasperated. Understandable.
But I so wanted to say, “embrace this moment!”
Go home and hold that little one in your arms. Cuddle her and tell her stories and listen to her breathe. Be present in this moment. Shut out the world; the rent, the job, the fact that she wasn’t running a fever and just hold her. Put your jammies on and pop in a silly movie or better yet, grab her favorite books and read.
And soak up every detail of that little one. Soak in her smell and the way her hair gets in her eyes and the quirky way she describes things. Be present in this moment and commit the memory to your heart.
For one day, one day that seems so far away, she will be too big to sit on your lap. She will be too busy to take time to read with you. Her life will grow bigger and bigger. She will become the confident person you raise her to be. And one day that confident young adult will spread her wings and go her own way.
And though you are so proud of who she has become, every now and then, you will wish you could have a “sick day” with her again. A day to shut out the world and just be.
Life with young ones is hard. And it is so easy to get distracted by the demands of life. But remember, those little ones are only little for a very short time. The blink of an eye.
I know you are exhausted, worried and a little overwhelmed. I have the luxury of speaking from somewhere near the other end. Many things seem clearer when you are looking through the lens of time.

Mason 22
For what it’s worth, I don’t regret one single moment spent cuddling my sons. Not one.
I don’t regret the days we spent in our pajamas or the lunches on the living room floor.
I don’t regret the silly stories they told again and again. In fact, I wish I had listened more carefully.
I don’t regret all the sick days or even all the puke I cleaned up!
Just a little perspective from a mom who’s been there.

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