For school last week I ejoyed the opportunity I had of helping Zane understand and memorize this poem:
by Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
It was enjoyable to reflect on the meaning of this poem and also talk about Martin Luther King Jr. this week. What an inspiration and impact he has made on our society!
It was also enjoyable to speak to Zane about dreams in general. I tried to think of an example in my own life and explained how and why some came true. Learning to drum was the first example that came to mind as we talked about dreams on his way to school. Kind of lame after talking about King. So I made sure to expand the conversation to dreams of being the kind of person you want to become and how it takes effort and work. The skills or hobbies you wish to have. The type of work you imagine yourself to engage in later in life. Finding the dream is the easy part, creating the path is quite another.
That morning as I headed to the gym searching in my mind for my past and current dreams, his poem still fresh in my ears, I passed a daycare. The children were happily climbing and shouting and swinging with the exception of one little boy. He stood at the gate of the playground reaching through the bars for his mommy. His tears and cries broke my heart. His mother's eyes looked to the ground as she said 'mommy has to go' as she broke away from his tiny clutch and headed for her car.
Watching them was like a cold, wet rag slapped me in the face. Oh yeah, my dream of being a mom! And staying home with my kids! It doesn't always feel as though I am living a dream come true, but I am.
I was immediately brought back to the day I had lunch with Mike when we were dating. It was a window seat, a booth at Long Wong's in Tempe on our lunch break. I don't recall what I wore or the day of the week, but I remember a pleasant sunlight filling our table and the sweet taste of fresh lemonade on my tongue. We talked about what we imagine of our future lives (individually, as the relationship was still new). We both spoke of hoping to have children. I spoke of my expectation to stay home with my kids while they are small and to volunteer when they are all in school. His ideas for his someday wife were similar.
That mom leaving her son at the gate reminded me how lucky I am to be living so many of my dreams that I often forget to appreciate them. These are important to remember for me and talk to my kids about their dreams over the years. It didn't just happen by chance. It was a dream and it took planning and work. As I spoke with Zane about dreams this week, he shared with me his desire to be a dad. In addition to a race car driver, police man, and an astronaut. As I raise my kids I want them to dream as big and far and wide as they like. And I hope we can help them learn the paths and tools to guide them on their way and make decisions that will help them work towards the life/ skills/ hobbies/ character traits/ jobs/ etc they dream of. And most of all, I hope they never stop creating new dreams all the while!