Yesterday when we were driving home, Hunter was chatting about the money he has in the bank for his future. (He's the only kid in the family with any savings... a bit of silver lining for having had leukemia, I guess.) He was saying that he didn't know what he'd like to do with that money. The conversation went something like this.
Me: Do you think you might like to attend college?
Hunter: No, I don't think so.
Me: Do you think you might like to travel? Go different places?
Hunter: Yeah, I think so.
Me: Have you ever heard of missionaries?
Hunter: People who go on missions?
Me: Yes, they travel to other places to tell people about Jesus.
Hunter: Hmmm, that's kinda cool. What was YOUR dream, Mommy?
Whoa. Immediately I started an answer that involved explaining what I'd planned to do for a career when I chose my major (I have a Bachelors in Psychology and had intended to continue my education until I received my doctorate in, most likely, cognitive, my strong suit.) But then I stopped. I realized that those were just my "schoolish/academic dreams", merely one facet of my aspirations for my future. But for some reason they were the absolute only ones upon which I placed any value whatsoever.
I had other dreams though. As I sat there, driving, lost in thought, I realized just how many dreams that I did have. Dreams that had nothing to do with school. Like...
-get married (to Michael preferably)
-have multiple kids
-one of whom was a boy who looked like a little guy in my preschool class
-be a writer and have people read my writing
-become a Christian and truly believe
-be an artist and involved with the arts community
-parent my children in a unique manner
-homeschool my kids
-be satisfied with the way my body looks (not let myself be fat)
-shop in health food stores and know what the heck I was looking at
-learn about healthy foods and eat and cook well
-obtain authentic beauty
-stop being a total nut job
-wear long skirts and long hair and never worry that I am too old to wear that look
-read good books
I have achieved all of these dreams. Simply by being authentic. So what if I didn't go on and achieve "Doctor" status (a popular achievement among my high school friends)? I did go on to achieve many of my dreams. I sure hope that my children never get their self-worth all caught up in academics. Sure, achieving academic goals is wonderful and a great way to invest your time. But it's not the only way to become an important and productive member of society. I'm glad that I finally see that now, at 33.
Thanks for asking, Hunter.