This week, I’m late with my post. I have a very good reason for being late. My youngest, my baby, turned 7 this weekend!
I actually spent Friday feeling a little guilty that I had not managed to get my blog post up on time, but then I remembered what my blogging self would tell worrying self: This is your child’s birthday. The blog can wait.
So it did. Until now.
I just put my youngest son to bed at the end of his 7th birthday. Right as he was getting into bed, he paused and said to me, “Now, I have to wait a whole year before it’s my birthday again.”
Then, he said, in a thoughtful tone, “It wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be, but it was still really good.”
“I totally understand, sweetie,” I told him. And I do understand. But I was a little taken aback by his wisdom in the way he spoke this.
He said it like he understood that this is just how it is. You build something up to be so great in your head that it can’t possibility live up to your expectations. But it’s okay if it’s still good. In fact, I’m sure that was his tone, and since he just turned 7, I was surprised by his seemingly deep understanding of this concept.
I always want his birthdays to live up to my son’s expectations, but I know there’s just no way this is possible. I hope it doesn’t seem like my kiddo is spoiled. He’s not. He’s actually this beautifully and honestly grateful kid most of the time. Well, I’m sure he’s a little spoiled, but I’m firm believer that we should all be a little spoiled, at least by love.
But he has this great imagination. No a fantastical imagination! And that means he dreams really, really big, even when I can tell he’s trying to be realistic. It’s pretty fantastic, actually.
Reflecting on the way my son dreams so big got me to thinking about my own dreams for myself and my family. I’m generally such a cautious person, but I’m trying all the time grow and change. I think “adulting” every day makes me forget how to dream big, however.
When I was in college, Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who argued Roe versus Wade to the Supreme Court when she was in her 20’s, visited my college. She gave a talk about dreaming big, and I remember thinking that this was an important lesson. Her message was that someone has to do the big things, so it might as well be you—if you want it to be. This felt like such a powerful message to me.
But I grew up and forgot it.
As I thought about my son’s big dreams tonight though, I remembered my own. My husband and I want to start our own independent publishing company. In our family, my husband is the real writer, and reading his writing makes me feel like I’m just wasting words. He’s really talented.
I think we could do it. I think his writing could help us get our publishing company going, and I so have my own dream of writing a children’s book about chickens.
Many days, however, this feels like a fantasy, but, as I write this post, I remember that talk from college and I think my son’s ability to imagine so much greatness. He really does do everything with gusto, and if it doesn’t quite work out, he’s at least had a really good day.
So, tonight, as I finally get to my blog post for the week, I write it in honor of the most beautiful 7-year-old boy in the world to me. He has taught me to love bigger, think bigger, and, now, maybe tonight, to dream bigger. I hope, if you read this, you will dream bigger, too!