March 4, 2010

What If Someday Never Comes?

by

AZ Sunset DBG

A few weeks ago, the family headed over to our local Botanical Garden.  I’ve been a few times and BabyGirl has been there before for their annual butterfly exhibit, but CycleGuy has never been.  Personally, I think he would  have been perfectly fine going along with life if he hadn’t gone.  He gets plenty of nature when he rides his bike, so maybe that’s why.

Thanks to my homeschooling mom friend, Tracy, who snagged me a pass from our local library (because they’re always gone when I’m there!) we got in free.  WooHoo!  Seriously, it was late January and kinda cold, nothing really in bloom and I couldn’t see paying almost $40 to look at desert plants.  Which probably explains why I don’t frequent the botanical garden as often as I should.

So, we are at the botanical garden in the late afternoon and it is very beautiful.  While most of the plants were definitely in winter mode, it was a gorgeous afternoon and the garden was quiet and peaceful and tranquil and filled with so many native plants it was a feast for the eyes.  My goal in going was to spend some quality time together but also give BabyGirl the opportunity to see things up close and personal that are often just a blur as the car heads from one place to the next.  She was very intrigued by all these plants.  So intrigued that she asked to have her own camera to take pictures.  She wanted to see these plants up close — really close.

Agave Marmorata

But as we walked around and looked at the plants and talked about how they survive in the dry desert and out in the wind and cold, it got me thinking about all the things BabyGirl has already said she wants to do.  She has a book that she writes down all the places she wants to go and things she wants to see …. someday.  It’s my job to help her figure out how to do these things.  OK, my and CycleGuy’s jobs.

I know that kids often ask for things.  Things.  But BabyGirl often talks about how someday she’s going to do this or get that or visit here or do something.  She is precocious and truly believes that the world is before her to partake.  And I have worked hard to allow her to have this belief.

Saghuaro Cactus

But she is impatient, as any 7-year old is.  She asks me all the time when she’ll be able to do something that is on her list.  And, I often tell her …. someday.  I hear the words come out.  You have to be older.  It costs money.  It’s far away.  We don’t live there.  I’m not sure how to do that.  Limiting words.  Phrases that tell her that there are obstacles.  My fears.  My worries.

I’m a very realistic person.  I was not encouraged to dream as a child.  My life was filled with expectations that I would be responsible for myself.  And it’s not a bad thing.  But it also made me cognizant that I had to do the chasing.  If it was to be …. It was up to me.  And I don’t want BabyGirl to think that all her hopes and dreams and desires are just out there in the cosmicness of the world, swirling around never to be harnessed.

I want BabyGirl to live life.  And I want to be there as long as she’ll let me.  I want to see the look on her face when these somedays become a today.  I don’t want her believing that someday is just another word for never.  I want her to have a list, a long list, of every wish, and dream and hope and want.  I want her to dream giant fluffy pixie-dust covered dreams.

And I want her to see them come true.  I want her to know that someday really does exist.  I never want her to wonder ‘What if Someday Never Comes.’

What do you do to encourage your kids or grandkids to dream big?  What are you doing to get to your someday?

{ 4 comments }

Lisa March 4, 2010 at 11:00 am

I love this – I have the same thoughts often – one of mine will be really excited about a new fabulous project and I have to balance my own views of all the obstacles or unwillingness to take on a new project (a recent idea was to build a chicken coop so we can raise chickens and have fresh eggs) from limiting them… how can we be practical but not squelch their dreams and creativity?? And no, no chickens in our immediate future, although I do agree it’s a good idea….

Sara March 5, 2010 at 1:19 am

What is it about having chickens. That was a question here too. At least when I said it’s too hot in the summer that was an acceptable excuse. But, the worry about stifling is always at the forefront. The fact that you know that you want to encourage makes you just that much better as a mom.

Allissa Emslie March 4, 2010 at 11:30 am

Keeping a book about things you want to do or places you want to go is a great idea. I never thought about it from a kid’s perspective…except when I was a kid…I dreamed too big, and was told NO too many times…even Carnegie Hall! I think it’s a concept that we should teach our kids early… to be productive by thinking about what you want to do or where you want to go, why you want to do or go, and how can we make it happen someday…It definitely gives them a larger, big-picture view on living life and that there’s more to life than stuff–more toys, movies, McDonalds–and more to life than instant gratification…these things on their lists are things they have to save for, practice for, plan for—long-term goals….and hard-work and perseverance and maybe a little help from mom and dad are necessary to achieve these things…and I know this is a bit off topic—but one thing I like about Sonlight History/Geography, is it gives kids a window to the whole world early on, which I think would really help with their own someday lists…
Thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed reading it : )

Sara March 5, 2010 at 1:21 am

I try not to say no, because, like you, I heard that a lot growing up. It is our job to encourage — within boundaries. Children need direction and love and boundaries. Encouragement can be given with all these in mind. And, you’re right, the whole wide world is out there just for them if they know it exists.

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