Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Let Them Dream

“Mom, I no longer want to be a doctor or a vet. I don’t like blood,” Gabriel told me as I was driving him to his church youth group.

“But you can help save lives,” I played devil’s advocate.

“Nah. I just want to be like those people who do things behind a desk.”

“But that doesn’t pay much,” I continued throwing in arguments, at the same time speaking from experience.

“Then I’m just going to be a fitness trainer,” he casually replied.

I was tongue-tied. You don't argue with a healthy self-image, and Moms give a bit more room for their kids' ego. I certainly do.

Gabriel, at 11, is pint-sized. He has always been one of the smallest in his class, and the smallest in the youth group he just started attending. I am careful not to make his small stature an issue, because I know he, like Mickey, will shoot up in a few years. But occasionally Gabriel himself brings it up. For instance, his first topic of choice for a speech assignment in Grade 6 was on being small. He abandoned the idea when he could not come up with one convincing advantage in contrast to a host of disadvantages.

In another instance, he complained that all the girls in his P.E. dance class were “either too tall or too fat”. Understand that from his perspective, anyone could easily appear oversized.

To hear him say that he wanted to become a fitness trainer was therefore like hearing him dream of becoming The Undertaker. But I can expect him to say something else tomorrow.

Before we reached the church property, I told Gabriel, “You’re 11 and you have a lot of time to pray for God’s will. He has a plan for your life and that is what’s important.” As a Mom, I have no ambition for my kids but for them to find God's purpose for their lives.

As soon as Gabriel got off the car, he ran off to the church gym. I thought to myself, Yeah, he has the potential. But I'm Mom. That's what I look out for, if not what I see.

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