When you are in the throws of parenting, especially during the younger years, you rarely have enough time to stop and wonder about your child’s future. Not saying that you don’t create dreams for them, one day they will grow up and play for the major leagues or become a successful entrepreneur, I feel like most of us have done it. It’s the wondering, imagining that seems to get lost in the chaos, the time spent actually opening yourself up to the idea that your child may have dreams, passions, and ambitions that you have never even imagined for them. Last weekend I decided to make some of my incredible unhealthy doughnuts for everyone. The farm had started to grow chilly, we had built a fire in the woodstove, and for some unexpected reason everyone was home at the same time.
I carefully moved the gourds from in front to the cabinet doors that Libby had decorated the kitchen with and reached up above the stove to grab my Joy of Cooking book that I had received as a wedding gift when I was married for the first time in my early twenties. This book has been with me for more than twenty years and I smiled to myself realizing I had only ever cooked a handful of recipes from it. I stepped down from the stool and opened the cover. Staring up at me from inside my faithful companion was a little lost treasure from long ago. I paused as my heart and mind raced each other back more than fifteen years to the moment I had first received this gift. My pulse began to quicken as I couldn’t pull the specific memory from my bank but was calmed by the knowledge that it was there and safe for always.
I lifted the tag and smelled it, but my little boy had long moved on and now it only smelled of paper and old Scotch tape. I placed it gently back in its place where I had found it and thumbed through the pages till I found the doughnut recipe.
My little boy who I once believed was destined to grow up to be a major league baseball player or a concert pianist is living a life I never dreamed for him, yet it seems to fit him perfectly. He has found his way out to Colorado in the mountains of Steamboat Springs where he goes to school, fly fishes in the cold rocky rivers, and creates films about high liners who traverse a inch wide line across ravines more than 300 feet up in the air. Who knew and who could have ever imagined let alone dream that my little boy’s passion would be to become an outdoor adventure film maker. It’s made me realize that for his two sisters still living at home that I have a job to do. I have a responsibility to make sure they have what they need to feel secure, confident, and open to the passion that lays within each of them. My job is not to shape, mold, and build them into the perfect version of my dream for them because most likely it would only end up being a few sizes to small. Life is funny that way. Most of us know that we can barely control it when it comes to living our own, I wonder how we ever believe that we can control it and manipulate it for our children.
For now as my son is building his own life thousands of miles away, I will take comfort in the knowledge that because his passion is what it is I have a front row seat to sit back, watch, and enjoy his journey. I hope you enjoy it as well.