My mother wanted me to be a doctor. This was back in the days when parents didn't have to pretend that they cared about their children's dreams and could apply pressure as needed. My mom wanted me to be well-educated, financially stable and independent. Notice that being happy wasn't on that list.
It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do. Like...I figured it out a couple weeks ago when I quit my job to pursue more creative endeavors.
I really hope that my kids figure out what they want to do before they are 44. We have always told them that we want them to have work that is meaningful to them, allows them to pay their bills, and makes them happy.
They throw out all sorts of ideas about their futures. Miguel once said that he wanted to be president. Then, he reflected on President Obama's gray hair and decided that he wanted to be the husband of a future president. Zeca has often talked about her dream of being a rock star. Lest you think she is impractical, however, she also told us she had a back up plan - knitting scarves.
Yesterday, as I drove them to school, I was talking about parenting and how it is different than I imagined it would be. I said that I always thought it was be all fun all the time. I admitted that it isn't because it is our responsibility as parents to set limits and teach them right from wrong. Both kids acknowledged that it must be hard and said they understood why babysitters were sometimes more fun than we are. Then, Miguel said, "But when we have kids, mama, that's when your fun will begin! You can spoil them!" I wondered aloud if we would live near each other and that is when the newest career plans were revealed to me.
Miguel: I'll be living in LA working at my sweet job. Probably an attorney.
Zeca: I'll be living in New York eating hot dogs.
Me: Z...eating hot dogs isn't a job. Dream big, baby!
Zeca: Right. Okay...I'll be living in New York and I'll own a hot dog stand!
Maybe I should force her to be a doctor instead.