Thursday, July 25, 2013

Raising Dreamers {and where I go off on a tangent about my own crushed dreams}

K Belle will be 16 in a few days. SIXTEEN! Where did the time go?

Beau and I were reminiscing and discussing this grand event that will take place.
He said something that sparked wonderful old thoughts, reminding me of significant moments in this child's life and the life of her sister that have shaped them into dreamers.

Beau and I have taught our girls to dream. Not just dream, but dream BIG.

We all had dreams as children. I wanted to be a ballerina and danced for a long time, eleven years to be exact. Not to brag or anything ... but here goes ... I was quite good. But, I knew attempting to do anything with dance would be futile. I was not the rail-thin, anorexic type, and there were not many high-paying jobs in Louisiana for prima ballerinas. I told myself to think practically. Dream crushed by practicality and fear.

My second dream wasn't far away from the first. I wanted to sing. But, I knew that there were millions of people in the world that wanted to sing and were one hundred million times better than me. To make it in music, you have to be unique. I was {and am} just average. Don't worry. I've come to grips with that fact. What was the point then, right? So, what'd I do? Thought practically again. Of course, I wasn't going to be able to make it big as a dancer or a singer.

Plus, I was too afraid of being rejected or told I wasn't good enough. That fact right there would kill anyone's dream. I played it safe and went for the rejection-free plan. Easy peasy. I didn't feel like having extra hurt and drama in my life, thank you very much, but no thanks. Ain't nobody got time fo' dat.

I even thought about teaching music. But, no, I didn't play piano or any other instrument, so that would be too difficult. Too much work. I ultimately chose an easier path for me. One that I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I could succeed at. Not scary at all.

Any dreams I had I quickly put out of my mind. I would be a teacher. I loved children and children loved me. It was easy. Teaching came natural to me. I did choose the easy way out. Not that teaching is easy ... because believe me it is taxing! But, it was the practical choice. The taxing part of it is why I'm not doing it anymore, not because of the loving kids or teaching them part.

Anyway, enough about my squashed dreams ... Beau and I have taught our girls to not take the practical, easy road. This was intentional from the day they were born. To try for big things. To believe that the world is their oyster and they can do anything they want to do.

That's really how it all started for K Belle I think. Remember "Blue's Clues"?

She and I sang EVERY DAY ... "You can do anything that you wanna do." Every. Day. For years.

We sang, "A dream is a wish your heart makes ... " and told her she was a beautiful princess. We told her she could be anything, not just a princess, but a queen, or President of the United States.

And, then it went on from there to encouraging her to try new things. 
And, to not be afraid of rejection and failure. That's the part that halts our dreams.

It's easier to do the easy thing. Duh. Plus it doesn't hurt or crush us.

But, we said and continue to say, "You can do and be anything you wanna do or be." God is on your side. He has gifted you. He has put dreams inside of you. 
Don't give up on your dream even when someone else doesn't see the value in it or doesn't think you're good enough to accomplish it.

In fact, a picture hangs in her room that says, "Believe in the journey of your dreams."

Believe in the journey. I love that. That's just what it is. A journey. A path you take where choices are made. We pray that her choices take her down the path to her dreams that God's birthed in her.

Some people say that parents who do this set their children up for heartache and failure, but I disagree. I want my girls to be fearless. Not afraid to attempt anything. And, that's exactly who they are. Why would you want your children to believe anything else about themselves?

So here's to raising fearless dreamers .... I have two of them. 
K Belle desires to travel to the other side of the world in a few years to pursue her dreams. This is what most stands out in our minds today as we think about the person that she is becoming. She's a dreamer. I love that about her. And, I know that God's got something amazing in store for this sweet 16-year-old.

Happy Birthday, my little dreamer! We love you. May all your dreams come true!