I have a son that is convinced that after he finishes being on TV for baseball, he will drive a Monster Truck. And not just any Monster Truck, but Gravedigger himself.
As a Mom, or maybe more importantly as a grown-up, I find myself trying to find ways to talk around those dreams. After all, how many people get to play professional sports? But then I think “what am I doing?”
Why do we feel the need to pepper our children’s dreams with reality? If a little girl wants to be a princess, why do we explain that there are only so many princes in the world and blah, blah, blah…
We all fear the child that grows up falling short of their dream and being devistated by it. The almost pro athelete that never moves past his almostness. The wannabe singer who ends up at the local Hilton instead of Madison Square Garden.
I have decided that it would be infinitely scarier to have the child that never dreamed. How would you feel if your child came to you later in life and said “Thank you for making sure I never believed that I could be more. It was so nice of you to keep me grounded in reality. I might have failed.”
An innate feeling of specialness is one of the best parts of being a kid. There should never be a kid that doesn’t BELIEVE that they will be a pro hockey player, a beauty queen, a Nobel Prize winner…
So when my youngest says he is going to make a really great movie when he gets older, I tell him that I can’t wait to see it. When my oldest talks about driving Monster Trucks I tell him he should study mechanical engineering so he can help with the engine. When my other son says he will grow up to be a genius, I tell him he already is one.