August 11, 2014 by Syd
When your kids grow older people start asking you, what are they gonna do, when they’re out of school, what do you want them to become? What a crazy question. And yet we tend to wish them a good job and enough money to go on holidays and to be able to succeed and earn respect and a degree to put on a wall so that everyone can see how well we’ve raised our kids. Cause that is what all this is about. Instead of wishing our children to become whatever they want to be we put them in drawers of expectations and unfulfilled dreams. Instead of teaching our children the wonders of this universe and how to dream and to laugh and to dance, we bring them to music classes with two left hands, we shape them into ballerinas and soccer players no matter how much they’d just love to sit somewhere and admire a flower, a sunset, a wondrous little bug they found on their way home from school after another wasted day with nothing learned about the things they’re interested in. Instead of teaching them poetry and art and to sing and laugh, we fill their copy books with formulas and facts and nothing left to wonder.
We make them believe that only being beautiful and top of the class will make them happy. We pity the little boy who gets called names and just tell him to only try harder to fit in. Maybe if you were only a little bit like him or her. And even if we don’t say it, they know.
Instead of teaching them compassion and empathy and love, we teach them to be successful and overachieving and to be better than others until we cave in and buy the silly shoes all others have and they never wanted in the first place cause fitting in makes you a part of a group of something important, only to find out that no matter how many shoes we will buy, no matter how much money we put into extra classes and iPods, they won’t cure the bruises left by feeling not important enough, not bright enough. We dismiss the disfigured horse as some thing which could have been done better if they had on,y invested a little more time. We fill them with the sadness and regret of our every day lives full of targets and expectations and the worries about money and our bad relationships instead of showing them that no matter how many times we’ve lost we always got back up, that a dinner after work, the talk with a good friend has saved our lives so many times we forgot that it was the little thing which kept us going. Instead of telling them that friends are not people who have the same sports club or the same brand of shoes but the people who ask you: how do you feel?
We want them to be friends with the successful ones instead of the nerd in the last row of the classroom inventing something nobody needs and still is so important. We should teach them to be friends with the people who need friends the most cause they will care and respond with real friendship and not a birthday invitation to Burger King. InsteAd of telling them that all we want for them is to be able to stand on a beach and wonder about the waves coming back no matter what war is rattling the planet. That we want them to find true friendship by finding someone who will laugh about the same stupid jokes as they do, who will stand with them when football is less interesting than the new Spider-Man comic, no matter how many people will laugh. We should not ask each other what we want them to be and secretly ask if it will be a job with a great pay check involved. We should ask each other what does your child dream about? We should ask each other what do we want our children to be and the answer should be spaghetti woman standing up for her beliefs or nighttime Spider-Man caring about the bugs nobody wants, not because everybody should become either one of them but to show us, all of us how stupid our own expectations are and to wonder about what we really want them to be. Themselves, not an improved version of us, not the fulfiller of our shattered dreams but the fighters who know that first of all, no matter what we love them. That all we do expect is a laugh at the dinner table and open eyes and questions and dreams and wonder. The world is a spiteful place, we need dreamers not robots, we need children standing upright in the biggest storm, cause they know, that somewhere someone is waiting with a dry towel and a cup of tea for them. We need children who are allowed to find out what place in the world they want to claim and we will still have doctors and lawyers and inventors and ballerinas but we will also have the thinkers, the caters, the writers and clowns.