Most parents have big dreams for their kids. We dream about them before they are even conceived, and those dreams just keep getting bigger as they do. As much as we may tell ourselves to step back, let go of expectations and accept our kids for whomever they turn out to be, we still dream about their future. Sometimes those dreams are fearful, anxious; more often they are dewy-eyed and full of hope.
The dreams for our kids are fun, and there's nothing wrong having them; we just have to be willing to crumple them up and toss them aside when they turn out to have nothing to do with reality.
The only real problem with dreaming for our kids is that those dreams risk usurping our dreams for ourselves. This is more perilous than you might think. Because, ironically, our kids are more apt to be influenced by our dreams for ourselves than by our dreams for them. (Funny how that works.) Not to mention that we'll turn into sad sorts if we give up all of our own dreams for theirs.
Instead, as we head into late fall, a season full of nostalgia for the past lives of the leaves that are finally dropping, we're doing some dreaming for both of us.
We're dreaming of reading: of getting the chance to be absorbed into a story for hours at a time the way we did when we little—and we dream of watching our kids develop into passionate readers who don't even hear us when we say it's time to come for dinner.
We're dreaming of our friends, and the long, uninterrupted hours we used to spend with them, just hanging out. We're dreaming of fun playdates and sleepovers to plan for our kids and of the deep friendships they are learning to form. Who will be their best friends when they are fifteen, twenty-two, thirty? What adventures will they have together? And when will we get to have some more adventures with our old friends?
We're dreaming of travels: places we still want to visit, and places we hope our kids will get to see. Will we travel together someday (minus meltdowns on airplanes)? And will we follow each others' travels from afar as well, admiring photos, asking for stories, welcoming back and sending off again? We can only dream....
What about you? What do you dream about?
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