It’s truly amazing how a tiny bundle of life fills you with an insane desire to re-live your imperfect life, all over again.
Welcome to the Parent Trap.
‘Only when you become a parent will you understand our dreams’ was my mother’s constant refrain every time I drove her up the wall with bizarre acts of teenage rebellion and abysmal grades. Today, these very words have come back to haunt me as I struggle to parent three rambunctious kids who are hell bent on becoming a tattoo artist, a chocolate maker, a VJ and sometimes even a beach bum. Any suggestion of a sensible rent paying profession is met with utter disdain and total disregard. Needless to say, unlike the rest of my friends who have their children’s lives under control, my dream of being the mother of a Nobel laureate looks rather slim at this moment.
‘Get a grip!’ Mama Mia, my veteran mommy pal lectured me; ‘after all, it’s just a mere child. What does it even know what it wants?’ she looked me square in the eyes and laid down harsh reality…
‘Understand that the journey to greatness begins in vitro. One must listen to Mozart, exercise, eat healthy and think positive’ her words shook me up. All I had done during my pregnancies was watch horror movies, weep copiously, eat popcorn and lounge about in my pajamas all day!
‘Next, be an involved parent. From carefully vetting the school, to what the child eats, to what he thinks to what he dreams of, you must know everything!’ this was insane. I almost keeled over in shock!
‘And remember, only the best will win’ she continued sagely, ‘Brain Gym, Vedic Math, Abacus, chess, music’ she rattled off, ‘and don’t forget tuition classes if you wish to give a shot at the IITs. As for your tattoo artist aspirant, there are a myriad ways to quash her dreams’ Mama Mia assured me with a bright smile.
Hallelujah! I had just been saved! My future seems much brighter as a respectable parent when suddenly it hits me. Wait a minute; my parents never, ever, really hounded me the way I’m all pumped up and ready to make mincemeat out my kids’ dreams.
My life flashes before me.
All the terrible mistakes, the missed opportunities, but what stands out the most is the complete freedom and space to find my true calling.
Is it really that bad if our children choose a less valued profession that makes them truly happy?
Follow your heart is what the wise men tell us.
By all means follow your dreams dear parents; just make sure you don’t hijack someone else’s in the bargain…