When youngsters dream, they dream big.
There is no journey too long, or aspiration too lofty; the mind is continuously revolving. With this youthful ambition, our children have the ability to accomplish greatness.
It is our job as parents, to foster this beautiful hopefulness and grow it into determination and purpose.
A few weeks ago I was presented one of those rare occasions in which my dad decided to open up to me.
We were speaking about the poetry book I had published, and how it has been a dream come true.
He then revealed to me that when he was young, he had dreamed of being a marine biologist (working with whales) was how he put it.
But, this dream was quickly put to rest by his father, who had told him that this delusion was the stupidest idea he had ever heard. There would be no money in it and that it was just plain dumb as a career move.
It was not the story that struck me, but the fleeting look that crossed Dad’s dismal face just after.
And then without even a trace of sentiment, he finalized our moment with, “And look what happened, I ended up a rig pig.”
My dad is a very determined man, although in that moment he saw himself as just a ‘rig pig’ he made a very successful career out of his work — which most people who work in the oilfield do. But with that said, it saddens me that crushed dreams of the past could make such a hardworking a strong man so poignant.
Throughout my life, my parents have always been very supportive of my dreams. Although some fanciful (and not always taken seriously) they forever humored me.
Shortly after the 1996 movie Twister came out; me, a haughty 10-year-old was bound and determined that one day I too would chase down tornadoes in a mad attempt to find out about weather patterns. I still sometimes have an overpowering urge, to drive somewhat near (but not too near) a double-crossing cyclone of pure thrill.
Writing has always been a constant in my life. I often wonder how my parents endured the countless hours of reading and re-reading short stories, poems, and oh the dreaded phase I went through when I thought I was the playwright!
They strived through it though, and they did it with enthusiasm.
My writing hasn’t brought me fame or fortune, and maybe it never will, but scribbling down a few sentences a day has saved me from sadness many a time.
It makes me happy, fulfilled even to know that I continue to pursue a dream that I’ve had for over twenty years. It is my parents I have to thank for this; they’ve always encouraged me to ‘write till my heart’s content.’
Now that I have a Lars and Sophie of my own, I look very forward to the day when they come home from school after learning about some new and exciting exploit and say, ‘I want to be a…..’.
Lars loves dancing.
Anytime my boy hears a beat, up go his hands and arms flailing and thrusting in a hypnotic fashion.
His body starts gyrating closely resembling a vertical spasm and his feet usually stick awkwardly to the floor while moving his legs in uncanny directions.
The poor boy has no rhythm and judging from the catastrophe that is my husband and I on the dance floor, he more than likely never will.
I by no means will ever tell the boy to stop or give up though.
One, because it gives me something to laugh about, and two — more importantly — he loves it. Whenever Sophie see’s her big brother dancing up a storm she joins right in.
And if my kids want to start a sister/brother dancing team, and introduce a new type of ‘interpretive’ dance to the world, I will be there in the front stands cheering them on the whole way (granted there are stands and cheering involved in this newfangled sport!)
The point is, no matter how bizarre, I will be my kids’ biggest fan. Whether they like it or not.
With education and options, we can give these tot’s the confidence to bloom and flourish.
I for one will not be the person to crush my children’s dreams and then have them rueing over it 50 years later.
And until that day comes when they begin to conjure up career paths of their own, I will simply daydream about their flourishing future… And maybe chase a few twisters in my off time.
Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.