Recently, my daughter Lore asked me if running my own store was something that I always wanted to do. Without thinking about my answer, I said ‘Yes’. I went on to tell her that owning my own shop has always been what I wanted to do. I told her that when I was little, I had the dream to own a shop called “StrayKats”. I picked that name because someone I know once used the term stray cat to describe a cat. I had never heard those words before and immediately fell in love with how it sounded.
My daughters are getting older and are beginning to have dreams of their own. As much as want them to go into science or creative arts, I don’t want to be the mother who quashes their dreams the way mine were crushed. The way I was subtly encouraged to study law when all I wanted was to own a shop like my mother did.
One of my daughters says she wants to be a singer and – until recently – I subtly made it clear to her that her dream to live off singing is not reality. It is just her day dreaming. Who tells their child that their dream can’t come true? I will tell you who: a mother who is not secure in herself. A mother who has not achieved her own lifelong dreams, a mother who is trying to live out her dreams through her kids. I was that mother. And I know so many of them.
I am not saying we should not help our children with extra tutoring, etc. if they need it. I am also not saying we shouldn’t push our kids to be excellent at what they commit to doing. What I am saying is, do not take your child off his or her life lane just because someone else took you off yours. Before you start pushing your child to sit for those grammar school exams, ask yourself why you are really doing it. If you are doing it for the right reasons, that is great. However, if you are not… you know what to do.
I know what to do but I am struggling to do the right thing. The right thing is always the hardest, isn’t it?