I broke one of my own parenting rules. I have always believed that you should never tell your children that their dreams and aspirations for the future are impossible. I mean, just because I’m too weak and shortsighted to reach higher and achieve great things, why should I step in front of my children when they try to face a greater challenge? But this time, I just couldn’t do it.
Yesterday, Lydia proudly marched up and announced that when she grows up she wants to become the first child to walk on the moon.
“Nope,” I said, without out even thinking. “Nope, can’t do that.”
She looked upset, “What? Has a child already walked on the moon?”
“No. I just mean, when you grow up you won’t be a child, so what you said doesn’t make any sense.”
She considered this.
“I’ll tell you what,” I said. “You could be the first WOMAN to walk on the moon. That hasn’t happened before.”
She shrugged. “Nah. That doesn’t seem very interesting.” She thought for a few moments, evaluating her other options. “I guess instead I could be the first person named Lydia to walk on the moon. That hasn’t happened yet, right?”
“Um, no. None of the men that have walked on the moon have been named Lydia.”
She nodded, “Alright. Well, I’ll do that one then.” But it sounded like someone deciding on a banana cream pie when they really wanted to have the chocolate which was all sold out that day. All of the good dreams had already been taken.
She turned to go, but a few steps away she spun back around, face furrowed into a question. “I’m still a child now, right?”
I placed a hand on her bony shoulder, “Yes, thank God, you are absolutely still a child. And you know what? If anyone could pull off still being a child after they grow up, it’s you. So, live your dreams, little girl.”