I wrote the poem I am posting today, titled Someday, years ago. I began thinking about how innocent children are and how as adults we sometimes throw dirt on that innocence. Why do we feel we have to give kids a "dose of reality" when they dream of becoming something we believe is out of their reach? Why should we put limitations on their ambitions and desires?
I have always told my children they can become whatever they want to be but I always said they should have a Plan B. I knew the odds might be against them for some dreams such as becoming an astronaut or President but who am I to say they couldn't achieve them. I knew that as they grew they would figure out for themselves the hard work and dedication required to achieve their dream. At which point they will either go for it or drop it like a hot potato. The important thing for me was to not dream for them. I believe as parents we should not tell our children what we hope them to become. We should let them figure it out for themselves. It is their life, their dreams.
My own children changed their answer several times to the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?", before deciding on a path that was good for them. How many of us 'Grown Ups' still don't have a clear idea of who or what we want to be? And even if we do know the answer to that question, we don't pursue our passion and opt instead for a safe 9 to 5 job that pays the bills. I am guilty of that.
I never thought my oldest son would become a pharmacist. He started out working in banking as he thought about becoming an engineer. As I attended his graduation in May, I thought what if I had put limits or voiced negative comments to any of his dreams while he was figuring them out? My daughter is in the medical field but dreams of pursuing criminal justice. I say go for it! My youngest son is a musician who first figured out on his own that he will pursue a history degree and do music as a side gig. Now he has changed course and is pursuing music seriously while obtaining a degree in history as Plan B. Music is his passion. I say "Good for him."
While it is sometimes difficult to pursue our passions for any number of reasons, I believe we should encourage our children to always dream. Dreams keep us alive. They motivate us and stimulate our imaginations. Dreams define who we are deep inside. Those who are fortunate will pursue their dream as their career but if that is not realistic at least pursue it as a hobby. I always wanted to write and did so sporadically over the years but never seriously. Now at the age of forty six I have taken the plunge and I am pursuing my dream. I have my children to thank for that. Watching them pursue their goals and dreams while overcoming difficult obstacles, never giving up and most importantly, "getting it done" as my youngest son would say, has inspired me.
So dust off that dream of traveling to a strange land, playing in a band, flying in a space shuttle, owning a ranch (a dream of mine) or meeting the President and go for it! What have you got to lose? It is already a dream lost if you don't try and pursue it.
"For what it's worth: it's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again."
- Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button screenplay