Day 2–My Children Will Do it Differently-If you could choose one thing that your children will do or experience in a different way than you have, what would it be and why?

Wow, this is a minefield of a prompt. One the one hand, I'm grateful for every little bit of my childhood; each experience–good, bad and ugly–made me the person I am. Yet at the same time, don't all parents long to give their children something better?

I've been meaning to write this post for awhile, and alluded to one part of it yesterday. The thoughts started when I was going through Erin's backpack one day, sorting through the odd homework assignments and notes from school. At first glance, this seemed like any other daily assignment:

I love that she used the words adventurous, creative, friendly (spelled frindly) and a fighter (spelled fiter….love that) as the words that describe her. What broke my heart, though, is that under friendly she wrote–and then erased–'a Dreamer'.

She. erased. it.

When I watch her, even when she's just creating sketchy cupcake recipes or giggling with her big brothers, I see such innocent joy and know that, at this point in her life, she hasn't yet realized that sometimes reality puts limits on dreams. She believes in fairies, calls herself a rock star and, more importantly, believes it to be true. 

I think I was like that once; innocent, luminous and unstoppable. Once upon a time I couldn't care less what people thought of me, did things just because I wanted to and found joy in all those little things we take for granted as adults. Somewhere that changed. It's not necessarily a bad thing; after all, being a grown up, feeding a family, paying for a home, all of those tasks require responsibility that is, by definition, mutually exclusive of those endearing characteristics.

Yet I wonder sometimes exactly when I shifted.  I wonder when she'll shift, and hope that when she does she holds on to that spark that makes her the amazing individual she is. 

The word 'dreamer' on her paper–erased or not–reminded me of a high school  English assignment. Mr. Hertel had us write a poem about ourselves. Thank God he gave us prompts, because poetry and I…..well, let's just say that I admire poets from afar but don't call it one of my talents. Even so, as I read it now, some 23 years later, it still rings true. I'm no longer a girl but the rest; well, the rest is still me, even after all this time. 

I AM

I am a quiet girl with lots of dreams

I wonder if people are actually happy with life

I hear teardrops falling from heaven

I see pictures of days gone by

I want to know what the future holds

I am a quiet girl with lots of dreams

 

I pretend to know even what I don't

I feel responsibilities nipping my heels

I touch thoughts of yesterday

I worry that they'll never come back

I cry to see people alone

I am a quiet girl with lots of dreams

I understand that nothing is ever as it seems

I say everyone deserves a fair chance at life

I dream of leading a successful and fulfilling life

I try to be patient with those I'm with

I hope for peace and tranquility

I am a quiet girl with lots of dreams