I think I said in an earlier post that last week I read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. The book was an easy and wonderful read. Every chapter either moved me to tears or made me laugh.
A major theme in the book was the importance of childhood dreams. Randy presented his childhood dreams and then went on to show how all of them (with the exception of one) came true. Even the absurd dream of wanting to be Captain Kirk came true in a round about way. It got me thinking about my childhood dreams.
Being a wife and mother were definitely on the list. I’ve accomplished those. For a time when I was a kid, we had a ping pong table. We found that when the table was pushed up and stored it could be used as a chalkboard. We spent time playing school. Perhaps it was then when I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I did become one. Although I feel I am done with my time in the traditional classroom, I do not feel I am finished teaching. I know that I dreamed of being a published author, although I think I also dismissed that dream as being “impossible.” I also went through a phase where I desperately wanted to be a model. I’m not exactly sure why seeing as I wasn’t tall or thin enough…or even pretty enough for that matter. But I wanted it enough to give up a vacation to Hawaii so I could attend John Casablanca’s modeling school. I guess I just craved the spotlight somehow and that was the only way I could imagine being in a spotlight.
Except for the fashion model fantasy, I don’t think I really dreamed BIG. I loved my life just the way it was and never really longed for much more. When I think of the activities that were my absolute favorite…those that defined my childhood it would be three things. I loved being a cheerleader and showing off my cheers to anyone who would watch. I loved playing Barbies and could spend hours on end in this fictional world of my imagination with Barbie and her friends. I loved drawing and coloring. The funny thing is except for cheerleading (which I participated in from 2nd grade through 12th), I’m not sure how often I did those other things. Maybe it was only a year that I was taken with Barbie and maybe my drawing obsession only lasted a few months. Maybe there were other things I did better and for longer, but those are the things I remember. When I visualize my childhood I see the Barbie Dream House, the spiral notebook in which I drew portraits of Strawberry Shortcake and all her friends, and my Godmother’s laughing face as I “perform” for her.
Randy’s book definitely has me reflecting once again on my childhood dreams, talents, and hobbies. I do believe that what we are drawn to as children gives us clues about our future careers and lives. The dreams of our children should not be dismissed.