I have been reading Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture, a book that rapidly rose to 'favorite' status for me. Which is weird, because I'm generally not a fan of books about Life's Little Lessons, or Lofty Reflections On Life - usually, I go all morbid when I am even in the same room with them.
But Pausch's book has kind of a back door in: the lecture he gave at Carnegie-Mellon University just after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Feel the morbidity creeping? ... you are free to ignore it, Randy Pausch's 'engineering problem,' as he referred to his cancer, was not really the subject of his last lecture. Instead, it was about the dreams of childhood, and how they made him into the man he became. (I tried to find this on YouTube, but it wouldn't play :-(
Reading the book got my friend Shannon thinking about her childhood dreams, which got me thinking about mine - and Luke's and Owen's, too.
When I asked Owen about his dreams, he gave them to me right away: to be a Dad, cook breakfasts, and "sleep without pajamas." At four, I'm not sure he can really give voice to some of his other dreams, which, judging by his play and the conversations he has with his stuffed buddies, include journeying as a knight and joining the Star Wars universe.
Luke dreams bigger: he wants to be an inventor of time machines and other "trans-dimensional" modes of transport, and he wants to live with the dragons in the woods behind our house.
Here are my childhood dreams:
To do a split all the way to the ground.
To play ice hockey.
To be in Narnia.
To run away and live in the woods, like the boy in My Side of the Mountain.
To be an Olympic skier or ice skater (as a transplanted Canadian, winter sports were BIG, and still are).
I look at my list now, and wonder if it can be said that I've achieved any of my childhood dreams? I am a Yoga instructor and, while I can't do a split all the way to the ground, for me Yoga is a direct result of that first childhood dream.
Ice hockey was out for me (because of my gender - no daughter of my Dad's was going to sit in stinky locker rooms with sweaty boys), but I played field hockey for five years, LOVED it and have several lifelong friends because of it.
I go to Narnia still, every time I read the series - also, I am able to escape reality with great literature all the time, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe was the original doorway into that world.
While I do not technically live in the woods like the kid in My Side of the Mountain, the appreciation for nature that this book instilled in me continues to be a part of my life, every day.
And, while I'm certainly not an Olympic skier, I love winter sports and want Luke and Owen to love them too.
I look at my list, and realize that there is a direct connection between these childhood dreams, and the grown-up I have become. It makes me wonder about Luke and Owen: will their dreams come true? And if not, will the fact that they dreamed them at all help contribute to the kind of adulthood they have? I sure hope so.
Well, those are our childhood dreams... what are yours?