Awe, the mind of a child. So full of hope, optimism and the idea that “you can be anything you want to be.”
What a load of dirty laundry.
Parent’s we can’t say these words to our children and then let them figure it out. We are responsible for raising and then sending happy, independent, high functioning adults into the world. And, let’s admit, we all know people in their thirties still living under their parents’ roof.
Kids have a lot of crazy ideas. They are constantly changing and morphing into new ideas. How do you know? They never stop talking. They tell you over and over and it’s our job not to always drown that talk out.
If your child tells you that he wants to become a pilot, take him to a small airport. There are pilots who love the chance to stop and teach your kids about their love of flying. If they want to be a marine biologist, bring them to the aquarium and teach them about all the different types of fish and animals. They want to be a basketball player, better get that dusty hoop out.
The important thing is that when you recognize interests it is our job to expose them to the knowledge and experiences.
If you aren’t stoking the fire of their dreams, what or who else is?
My daughter is in love with music. She plays the flute, piccolo and is learning the piano. She practices almost every day and strives to be the top chair or in the highest band. This is a kid that needs to see the flute in a different light.
This past weekend we went to a Dessa(rapper from MN) concert, and she was performing with the Grammy-winning Minnesota Orchestra. If you are not wearing your what the heck face right now I’m not sure how to surprise you.
My daughter was over the moon excited! She could hear the flute and the piccolo among all the strings and brass and it was wonderful. Just when she thought nothing could get better, I was able to get the flutists attention during intermission. Wendy walked right over and was delighted to meet a young artist.
My daughter was star struck. That a professional like Wendy would come over and talk with her wasn’t possible in her wildest dreams. We all talked about what instruments my daughter was playing and what path did the flutist have to take to get where she is.
Consider that fire stoked.
We didn’t have to drive from South Dakota to Minneapolis, MN. We didn’t need to buy expensive tickets months in advance. And I, sure as heck, didn’t need to rush the orchestra during intermission waving my arms around and pretending to play the flute. Which I did do and I’m sure it was a sight to behold. We didn’t have to do any of those things.
But in doing so a dream of my daughters grew to an attainable “I could do this someday.” And that statement alone was worth all of the effort.
I challenge you to participate in your children’s dreams. Will you accept?
Photo by PeopleImages