I am no expert. On anything. Least of all parenting. But I’ve been making some observations and coming to some conclusions. Here we go…
Ray and I had a date the other day—a rare occurrence lately. He asked, “If you could learn any skill, what would it be?” I mentioned a couple of things that I’ve always wanted to learn to do better, but the one thing that really made me excited to think about was…remodeling.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve dreamed of taking old houses, fixing them, making them new and beautiful and wanted again. There’s something redeeming about the restoration of old things. But I don’t know the first thing about what’s involved in making old houses new again. I wouldn’t even know where to start. So this dream has gathered dust over the years and most of the time, I don’t even think about it.
But here’s the really ironic and even ridiculous thing about my dormant dream…my father is a master carpenter. One of the best. In 18 years of business he’s never had a slow season, never needed to advertise, and is always booked several months in advance. Every day he does the very thing I’ve dreamed about and pushed aside.
So why have I never learned the skills needed to make my dream a reality? Part of the answer is that it wasn’t possible. I was living overseas for nearly eight years. But a bigger reason, which I’ve realized since my date with Ray, is that I haven’t put value on my dream, and in general, don’t see any of my dreams as being worthy of action.
It’s nice to think about the things I would like to do—remodel houses, publish books, write screenplays. I can even talk about them and go so far as to make plans to do them. But taking action to make these dreams a reality proves whether or not I truly value them. And value myself.
Do I value myself enough to make these dreams happen?
Ray’s initial question has morphed from the hypothetical to the actual—“Will you learn the skills needed to make your dreams reality?”
I am a mother. As such, it is so very easy to push my ambitions to the side for the sake of my child. Or so I tell myself… “I don’t have time for (fill in the blank) because Kai needs me.” Yes, he does need me. He needs me to teach him, to give him the necessary love and structure to be his best.
But I can’t give what I don’t have. Whatever we believe about ourselves, we teach to our children. Self-worth, like DNA, gets passed down. I can’t make my son believe something about himself that I don’t believe about me. If I don’t give myself the love and structure to be my best, I can’t give it to him either. If I want the best for him, I have to be okay with, I have to truly believe, that I am worthy of becoming my best.
If I’ve given birth to a child worthy of his dreams, then I am worthy of mine.
There is nothing I want more than for Kai to be a better person than me. Stronger. Smarter. More loving and less afraid. I want him to dream freely and then value himself enough to go after his dreams with fearless tenacity.
As I’ve said before, truth has the ability to flow backward through our bloodlines; if I’ve given birth to a child worthy of his dreams (and what child isn’t worthy of his or her dreams?) then I am worthy of mine. This is what my son needs from me. Not excuses for why I haven’t done the things that make my heart come alive. He needs to see me put my dreams in action.
What about you? Do you see the value of your dreams? Will you make them happen?