Tuesday, June 30, 2015

When I grow up... the artist and the adventurer

In the last three months both of my little ones have added a year to their age.  Each time this happens I think "I should start a prediction page!" Thinking, of course, that each year I would write down what I (or they) think each child will be when they grow up.

So I started thinking.  When Whit was very little he had charisma.  He was loved by a lot of people and always made a good impression.  I thought, surely, he will be the President or something.  As he got older I noticed that he cared about the rules a lot more than other children his age.  Aha! He will be in law making or law enforcement.  Then there was always the athletic side of him. Will he be a baseball player, maybe soccer, maybe football? I mean, the kid can kick and throw and hit.  And what about the fact that he likes to go places but doesn't like to do new things (as ironic as that sounds)...

When Eilidh was born I often played the same game in my mind with her.  She certainly won't cut it in the corporate world with a name like Eilidh.... but perhaps she'll be an artist?  She's loved to write and draw since she could pick up a pencil.  Or perhaps she will be a counselor or a nurse, since she enjoys taking care of other people.

And then, just about the time Whit turned five, I really started thinking.  Why am I getting so worked up over what my children will be when they are grown - in  more than 20 years.  Am I really going to keep a revolving list of what I think they will be?  Am I really going to ask them every year what they are going to be when they grow up?  Although the list thus far is quite funny - Whit is going to be a ghostbuster, a football player and a firefighter/school principal.  Eilidh is going to be a bunny, or a horse, or a bird.

I've decided to stop pressuring them. My children have their entire adult lives to figure out, without any input or pressure from me, how they want to affect this world.  I've passed the 30 year mark and I'm still trying to figure out what my role in this world is.  And even those times that I've figured it out, it always seems to change, sometimes very quickly.

I guess the bottom line is if we are to remain fluid and continue to grow (although rarely taller) throughout our lives we are never truly "grown up."  And therefore we can only hope that our daily actions can compound and impact our ever changing world in a positive way.  Regardless of their profession I hope we can teach our children to work hard at whatever they choose to do, to serve as custodians rather than consumers of their planet, to love first and judge last.

Someday my children will be grown and out on their own.  I hope they are successful.  I pray they find a path in life that follow's God's plan for them.  I hope their path makes them feel fulfilled, happy, and purposeful. And I hope that I can keep my own opinions out of it.
The Artist

The Adventurer

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