On the way home from school the other day, my oldest piped up from the back seat. “Mom, I don’t know if I want you to become a famous author.”
Nothing like a comment from far right field after a long day of work to shake things up a bit.
So, after I’d peeled the ear-to-ear grin off my face at the notion of ever becoming “famous”, I replied, “Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to be famous any time soon, buddy. But…what makes you say that?”
“Well, I guess it’d be pretty cool. But, if you were all famous then you’d be busy all the time and we wouldn’t get to see you as much.”
Aw. His honestly left me momentarily speechless. (And for those of you who know me well, that doesn’t happen too often.) It also reminded me of just how much those two little minds in the backseat are constantly working. Kids see and understand far more than we give them credit for, and this was just another subtle reminder of that. So I tried to come up with the best answer I could in order to allay his concerns.
I started by reminding him that there were no guarantees Mommy would ever become a “famous author”. There’s nothing wrong with setting your sights high, but if you always assume (yep, a reoccurring theme on this blog) that you’ll win at every race, well, your life is sure to be full of disappointment. And I’m not a big fan of disappointment. So I tried to offer up some alternative, reasonable expectations. In fact, I probably set them kinda low – my first book hasn’t even been published yet, let alone made it to the New York Times Best Seller’s list.
Then I reminded him that no matter what, family comes first. Not writing, not work, not anything else, comes before my boys. That doesn’t mean that one has to completely negate the other, but it does mean that I strive to find the right balance between them all. Some days, that’s more easily done than others.
“Plus,” I added with a grin as I snuck a peek in the rearview mirror, “if I become a famous author, then I wouldn’t have to work full time.”
“So we could stay home and play all summer together then?”
“Yeah, buddy. We sure could.”
Hopefully I didn’t get either of our hopes up too high with that one. But hey, we gotta dream a little from time to time, right? And there’s nothing wrong with dreaming. Just remember to keep your expectations in check.
So work toward your goals and set reasonable expectations, but never stop reaching for your dreams. Because if you don’t have dreams, then what are you reaching for?
What’s your dream?