Dream Big

My mother wanted me to be a doctor. This was back in the days when parents didn’t have to pretend that they cared about their children’s dreams and could apply pressure as needed.

My mom wanted me to be well-educated, financially stable and independent. Notice that being happy wasn’t on that list.

It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do. Like…I figured it out a couple weeks ago when I quit my job to pursue more creative endeavors.

I really hope that my kids figure out what they want to do before they are 44. We have always told them that we want them to have work that is meaningful to them, allows them to pay their bills, and makes them happy.

They throw out all sorts of ideas about their futures. Miguel once said that he wanted to be president. Then, he reflected on President Obama’s gray hair and decided that he wanted to be the husband of a future president. Zeca has often talked about her dream of being a rock star. Lest you think she is impractical, however, she also told us she had a back up plan – knitting scarves.

Yesterday, as I drove them to school, I was talking about parenting and how it is different than I imagined it would be. I said that I always thought it was be all fun all the time. I admitted that it isn’t because it is our responsibility as parents to set limits and teach them right from wrong. Both kids acknowledged that it must be hard and said they understood why babysitters were sometimes more fun than we are. Then, Miguel said, “But when we have kids, mama, that’s when your fun will begin! You can spoil them!” I wondered aloud if we would live near each other and that is when the newest career plans were revealed to me.

Miguel: I’ll be living in LA working at my sweet job. Probably an attorney.

Zeca: I’ll be living in New York eating hot dogs.

Me: Z…eating hot dogs isn’t a job. Dream big, baby!

Zeca: Right. Okay…I’ll be living in New York and I’ll own a hot dog stand!

Maybe I should force her to be a doctor instead.


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19 Responses to Dream Big
  1. Laurie
    October 16, 2012 | 10:25 pm

    I don’t know, the people who own Gray’s Papaya and Nathan’s probably have a lot of cash, but the NYC market may be saturated.

    Having parents who want them to figure out what they really want to do means they’re on their way to doing that sooner than as late as, um, us. 😉 They look really happy, and that’s a good start.

  2. Kelly
    October 16, 2012 | 10:57 pm

    So far mine are completely shocked I expect them to leave home someday. I’d say yours are off to a good start.

  3. Meg
    October 17, 2012 | 4:55 am

    I love hearing kid’s ideas for jobs. Mine come up with some funny ones, too.

  4. Alexandra
    October 17, 2012 | 9:17 am


    Never once was it mentioned, “I hope you’re happy.”

    I tell my 3 now: “life can be a joyful masterpiece. Watch who you surround yourself with. And be happy.”


    • Rosstwinmom
      October 25, 2012 | 6:26 am

      Your surroundings are SO important. Poland may be hard at times, but I have my happy people with me to pull me out of a funk. I also have my online cheerleaders.

  5. LizC
    October 17, 2012 | 8:44 pm

    I think maybe women of that generation assumed if you had those three things covered, happiness would follow.

    Miguel is indeed a wise young man. I’ve just become a first time grandmother, and boy it really is fun!

  6. Eliza
    October 17, 2012 | 9:41 pm

    When Nik was about 5, he said he wanted to be “a rock star…or a dog washer!” I love that he put those things on the same level.

    Now, at 18, he’s talking about being a botanist and I’m just hoping that’s not a euphemism for growing weed.

    So, big changes in your world! Good luck–you’re going to do great!

  7. AA
    October 17, 2012 | 10:12 pm

    Wow, you’re going to be doing a lot of traveling to spoil those grand kids. I’ve already told my son I plan on just moving to wherever he lives, and if he moves multiple times I will too. I’ll be stalker mom. But, on the upside for him, I’ve promised free babysitting for the grand kids. The future, not yet thought of grand kids. He’s only fourteen. But I figure talking about it now might make the idea grow on him.

  8. Melissa
    October 18, 2012 | 10:11 am

    I told mine I dont care what you want to do as long as you pick a career doing something that you love. And then I tried to force my daughter into becoming a nurse once she hit high school. Ive now accepted the fact that she will be a teacher one day and making a meager wage, but she will be the best darn kindergarten teacher out there. Parenting is hard work.

  9. Katherine
    October 18, 2012 | 1:39 pm

    I think Miguel would make a great First Gentleman.

  10. Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom
    October 18, 2012 | 2:49 pm

    I really wish that in my pursuit of rock stardom I’d fallen back on my knitting background from scouting. My mother always said “It’s not about being happy, it’s about paying the bills.” It’s so important to let kids know that it’s also important to be happy. You’re doing an excellent job!

  11. Erin@MommyontheSpot
    October 19, 2012 | 7:52 pm

    Every time I think that blogging may be self-indulgent, I remember not only the opportuntities it has afforded me, but the chance to rediscover myself in a way that teaching junior high English never did.

    And I see how my daughter responds to my excitement of doing something I have always wanted to do: write.

    I think you are setting an amazing example to your kids by following your dreams.

    I also may borrow (but give credit, of course) your line about being happy and paying the bills. Very nicely said.

  12. Jasmine
    October 21, 2012 | 9:28 am

    I ALWAYS knew what wanted to be when I grew up. I had a list of ten things and have always stayed within that list… until recently. When I discovered I was good at something I had no planned to be good at I was so frightened and it took a lot for me to give myself the freedom to be something unplanned. Crazy, eh? Sometimes I struggle to allow myself the freedom of definition that I so easily afford to others.

    Your kids are so cool!

    • Rosstwinmom
      October 25, 2012 | 6:25 am

      I agree with Jasmine who is more mature in her answers than I.

  13. Mommy Unmuted
    October 23, 2012 | 12:29 pm

    What about a gourmet hot dog stand? Food trucks are rolling in the cash these days 😉 My parents were the same and I am now trying to let my daughter choose her own path…within reason, I guess.

  14. Marta
    October 23, 2012 | 1:09 pm

    You know if I had to dream living in California eating a hot dog wouldn’t be too far off. I don’t really want to own the whole stand though. =)

    Being unemployed now, I’m really thinking about the whole if you could be anything who would you be. And I’m stuck with all the practicalness of being a mother of two with a mortgage. Makes it much harder to dream really big.

  15. Junebug
    October 23, 2012 | 3:02 pm

    I love the dreamer part of a child where living in NY eating hot dogs seems like a plausible career!

    I know my family wanted me to be happy but I, also, know they and the whole community insisted I would go to college. It was a nonnegotiable. The mailman would ask me if I had picked a college at the age of 10. I was the first in my family to go directly to college from high school and to graduate. Sadly for my family and community they hadn’t told me what to be and were disappointed I walked away with a BFA in Theatre Performance. My degree has no value in the Kansas farm community. “What the hell are you going to do with that?” “Do what most actors do…wait tables.” For them, I might as well of moved to NY to eat hot dogs.

  16. Rosstwinmom
    October 25, 2012 | 6:24 am

    Don’t worry. The Ross twins will keep her cart very busy as long as she keeps the ketchup coming.

  17. Laura @ Mothering Spirit
    October 26, 2012 | 11:26 am

    I love your writing. So glad Facebook sent me your way today.

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