The other day I met with someone who can be vaguely placed in the category of "children's education professional." During the course of the conversation this person asked me, "What are your hopes and dreams for your daughter?"
It was the variety of question that made me bite my tongue. Bite my tongue hard!
Seriously, what kind of question is that?
If you were to ask me about my own hopes and dreams I could describe them to you, in more detail than you would want to hear. I'm me and I have a pretty good grasp on what's important to me. As for my children, they are not me. Although I love them desperately and too much, I recognize the physical barrier. We are not the same person. They are distinct people, becoming more so every day, with their own ideas, goals, dreams and viewpoints.
I suppose my response to this breed of question is not so much a response to the question, as to the underlying ick factor. To me, it seems like an invitation to aggrandize the little people who will live in my house for the next ten or eleven years. It invites me to live vicariously through them, burdening them with all "my hopes and dreams."
That's not the kind of parent I want to be. That's not the kind of person I want to be.
As for Child #1, she is her own person with her own set of hopes and dreams. Right now she's hoping and dreaming of becoming the next Coco Chanel. Who am I to stand in her way? Quite frankly, anyone who gets in her way risks being mowed over by the ocean freighter that is my daughter's determination.
As for my hopes and dreams for her, here they are:
I hope she grows up to be happy and fulfilled without becoming a burden to society. Anything more and I risk my own ideals of what it means to be a parent. Anything less and I haven't done my job.