Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to Me

CAMBRIDGE, MA - JUNE 4: Musician Wynton Marsal...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeAll three of my children are extraordinarily bright. Academics are their "thing". They don't necessarily "love" sports. Of course they don't necessarily "love" school. But they excel at school & get really excited about learning and being challenged. In fact, they all go to an academic magnet school.

Hubby & I have sacrificed to make sure they are well-rounded and every opportunity. They've done dance, soccer, field trips, church activities, fencing, archery and just about everything else under the sun. We have wanted to prepare them to be anything they want to be.

To be honest, we believed we were preparing future doctors, lawyers, Congressmen and other such community leaders, as, I expect many parents believe. We even had our youngest boldly proclaim she wanted to go to Harvard. We could not have been more proud...

Then we had our aspiring Harvard academic tell us she wanted to be... a hair dresser.

How does that work? Does Harvard have a cosmetology school I wasn't aware of? Then the other two said they were planning on being a massage therapist and a salesman, respectively.

What about all the college prep work we've been working so diligently on? Do they need to go to college if they are going to trade school? Will they be able to live a lifestyle they choose with those careers? We have many friends whom we love dearly in those very professions, who have told us what a struggle it can be, and that they are not as lucrative as they had hoped. This compounds our worry.

However, when the kids talk about their (current) chosen professions I see them full of excitement because they are viewing them as ways to help people while using their creativity. And they see them as being family-friendly careers, as far as time is concerned- even if they don't make a six or seven figure income.

And I have to remember that these kids are still young enough that they could quite possibly change their minds a ton more times.

Of course first and foremost - as a parent I want my children to be HAPPY- regardless of what they do when they go to work.

So I have shifted my thinking. I will continue to make the sacrifices, continue to push them to do and be their best. I will try to promote well-roundedness and academic excellence. But I will remember my ultimate goal is: their happiness, which will make me a very happy mommy, indeed.
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1 comment:

Kaye Dacus said...

Even as late as seventh or eighth grade, I told my parents I wanted to be a beautician. (I don't know what I was thinking, even back then I hated being on my feet for more than ten or fifteen minutes.)

Then for a few years I wanted to be a race-horse trainer/breeder (my uncle ran a degree program at Louisiana Tech--so at least I was thinking about college).

When I was in tenth or eleventh grade, my uncle's program was cut---there went my college/career plan. Back to square one.

Since I loved my high school civics/history teacher so much, I decided to major in secondary education/social studies. That a semester and a half. I switched to general studies for two weeks midway through semester 2, then I heard about LSU's Creative Writing major.

And then I dropped out of college at age 21 and worked as a communications assistant operator for the deaf for a year, then as a sales assistant/admin/exec assistant in the newspaper advertising industry for quite some time.

I was twenty-nine when I went back to college knowing what I was supposed to do---finish my education and get a full-time job teaching Creative Writing at a community college or small 4-year school.

And we see how well that plan worked out.

Hair dresser, massage therapist, and salesman? Yep, they sound like they're at just about the right phase of life. :-)